Robert Wertheim Hospice Home Presents Consolation In New Mexico

Based in 1908, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a personal, nonprofit built-in healthcare system and supplier in New Mexico, started offering hospice care greater than 40 years in the past as a part of a pilot program with Medicare.

Through the years, its companies have advanced to incorporate a 10-bed inpatient unit at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital, whereas most of its hospice care is delivered by outpatient companies, primarily coaching and supporting members of the family to look after a affected person at dwelling.

“At any given time, we’ve got about 300 or so individuals across the state that we’re caring for of their dwelling setting,” says Doyle Boykin, vp of dwelling well being hospice and palliative companies at Presbyterian Healthcare.

Increasing entry to hospice companies

Not everybody has entry to a supportive dwelling setting, nevertheless, and as Boykin explains, “New Mexico is a really impoverished state … we’ve got a number of Medicaid-dependent individuals.”

So varied Presbyterian Healthcare Providers leaders and medical administrators started envisioning how the group might additionally serve those that didn’t have steady housing or the fitting dwelling setting for at-home companies, but weren’t sick sufficient for hospital-based end-of-life care.

Initially, the concept was to construct or modify a house in the neighborhood right into a residential care setting for hospice companies.

“However we shortly realized that the kind of care and quantity of sufferers we’d see wouldn’t render that possible in the long term,” Boykin says. As a substitute, planners set their sights on constructing a hybrid idea. The brand new facility could be designed to residential requirements with some scientific options, comparable to wider hallways and doorways to accommodate a hospital mattress and gear.

An onstage/offstage configuration would maintain employees areas separate from public and affected person care areas. “Working from the guts, we needed to make it extra of a particular place for individuals to spend their final little bit of time,” he says.

Funding a brand new hospice program

However first, the group wanted to get funding. Presbyterian Healthcare Providers receives a hospice reimbursement from Medicare, whereas room and board prices are coated by the group’s basis.

Seeking to fund its new idea, the group reached out to the group, with donations from two native households, together with former board chair Robert Wertheim, overlaying the majority of the $3.2 million greenback construct. In-kind donations and companies supported it, as properly.

The healthcare group then donated an roughly 10-acre web site on Presbyterian’s Northside campus for the Robert Wertheim Hospice House, which opened in January.

Homelike design options

Structure agency Dekker Perich Sabatini (DPS; Albuquerque, N.M.) labored with Presbyterian Healthcare to design the 7,700-square-foot, totally licensed hospice care facility located in northeast Albuquerque.

Greg Everett, healthcare design supervisor at DPS and architect on the venture, says one of many venture objectives was to make Hospice Home really feel inviting to encourage households and guests to come back.

“It’s a tough time, so we needed this to really feel secure and heat and homelike for that cause,” he says.

Because of this, the power format is just like a typical dwelling, with a small atrium on the most important entry. The doorway then results in a lounge, anchored by a big hearth and home windows with views to an outside courtyard.

“It’s a really robust assertion that actually invitations you to come back into this facility and really feel such as you’re at dwelling,” Everett says.

Subsequent to the dwelling house is an open, residential-style kitchen, the place members of the family can prepare dinner a cherished one’s favourite meal, and a eating room.

The house’s 10 affected person rooms are off a hallway, whereas a separate hallway results in a built-in nurses’ station, in addition to a employees break room, remedy space, and clear/dirty provide rooms.

Materials choice impressed by New Mexico locale

Inspiration for the adobe-style constructing’s exterior and inside design parts got here from houses across the state, says Barbara Audet, senior healthcare inside designer at DPS.

“The significance of that was to arrange a way of familiarity and the consolation that [those elements] can supply,” she says.

For instance, the façade options stucco supplies, punch-type home windows, and flat roofs, that are widespread to the realm.

Inside, the venture staff utilized a number of the healthcare group’s supplies requirements that might additionally assist the hospice’s residential aesthetic, together with wood-look vinyl flooring all through the power.

Creating connections to the outside, nature

One other vital function is the connection to nature, with home windows strategically positioned to maximise views of the close by mountains and an outside courtyard that’s open to sufferers, guests, and households.

Moreover, every resident room additionally has an enclosed patio house with a door sized to accommodate a affected person mattress. “They had been discovering of their different facility a number of requests [from patients] to expertise the outside as their time was coming to an finish,” Audet says.

Every patio additionally has a gate that results in a strolling path, offering a personal option to deliver sufferers out of the power after they’ve handed.

Rising affected person volumes

Whereas its hospital-based unit stays full, Boykin says the group has been slowly rising the affected person quantity at its new Hospice Home, working at about half capability for the primary few months.

“Like most healthcare organizations, we struggled a bit in hiring employees,” he says.

In truth, Presbyterian anticipated to open final August after the constructing was accomplished, but it surely took a number of months to rent and practice employees.

Going ahead, Boykin says the group estimates operations will value about $1.2 million a 12 months, with the muse dedicated to elevating $500,000 a 12 months for the work and the hospital donating the remainder.

“It’s a part of our dedication to the group,” he says


Anne DiNardo is govt editor of Healthcare Design journal. She might be reached at [email protected].