New Children’s Surgery Center Opens at UC Davis Medical Center

HGA’s new technologically-advanced design allows patients to create their own sense of calm.

A new state-of-the-art children’s surgery center recently opened on the UC Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento. Designed by HGA, the 20,000 square-foot center is one of many next steps in a multi-year, multi-phase seismic compliance masterplan for the hospital.

“This was the perfect opportunity to create a new children’s surgery center that offered expanded services and created an environment to help improve patient care by providing a sense of calm for patients and families facing a very difficult situation,” said Greg Osecheck, principal in the Sacramento office of HGA. “Our design started with programming to optimize the number of ORs and prep and recovery bays, right sized for the CSC’s needs and future technology without sacrificing quality.”

UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the Sacramento region’s only nationally-ranked, comprehensive hospital that provides care from infancy through young adulthood and for all facets: primary care, subspecialties, and critical care.

The Children’s Surgery Center was first located in the North-South Wing of the hospital, which was built in the 1950s. However, as the hospital continued to grow and embarked on a multi-year seismic compliance masterplan, that wing is being vacated for future demolition. The CSC was relocated to designated expansion space in the Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion (SESP).

Located on the second and third floor of the SESP, Children’s Surgery Center’s cutting-edge pediatric facility was designed to meet current seismic safety code and to maximize value without sacrificing quality. Patients and their families check in and use the waiting room on the second floor that also houses the staff breakroom, administration offices, and other support services.

Patients are then escorted to the prep/recovery bays on the third floor, which also house six new operating rooms – four general operating rooms, one cardiovascular operating room, and one complex operating room to be used for specialty cases such as conjoined twin separations. All building support systems serving the surgical spaces were upgraded with the project.

Serving children from infants to 17-year-old young adults, design considerations needed to cater to diverse patient needs. HGA’s goals included creating an environment that was both practical and child-friendly. HGA designed each key element purposefully and intentionally for children in an effort to provide a sense of comfort, stability, and safety to the facility’s young patients and their families during their stay. For instance, the brightly colored waiting room features a play area to make the transition process easier for younger patients.

“We wanted to use the design to take as much stress out of this type of visit as possible,” explained Osecheck. “Key to the design was creating a variety of positive distractions for the children and the parents to take their mind off the forthcoming procedure. We pulled elements from the surrounding environment to link the space to the Sacramento valley. We incorporated flowing patterns in the floor finish to mimic the Sacramento River. We integrated circular patterns and shapes throughout because they are proven to have a calming effect visually. We also created a changing color lighting feature so that the child can choose their favorite color as they are taken into the operating room. All of these elements create positive distractions that generate a sense of calm for each child.”

In addition, HGA designed the OR environments to assist in controlling the pediatric patient’s body temperature. Infants and neonates are vulnerable to both hypothermia and hyperthermia during surgery, therefore the need for rapid heating and cooling of the ORs. HGA utilized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer modeling to optimize the size and location of ceiling diffuser arrays and low wall return grilles and to determine actual ventilation rates necessary for thermal management and to achieve superior airflow around the operating tables.

Designed for Teaching

Particular attention to detail was given to the design of staff meeting areas. Because UC Davis Medical Center is a teaching hospital, advanced technological capabilities included implementing live video feeds from operating rooms that can be watched from the adjacent collaboration rooms.

“As a teaching center, it was important to provide areas for teaching, collaborating and gathering,” Osecheck emphasized. “Besides being a huddle space, these collaboration rooms allow live feeds of the procedure so that students can learn without actually being in the operating room.”

This is one of several projects HGA has completed on the UC Davis Health campus. Other facilities include the MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders), the Davis Tower (an inpatient bed tower), and planning for the School of Nursing’s Betty Irene Moore Hall, which opened in 2017.

For more information, read the full article in Prism.