2 new HMH architect-of-record assignments are completed by DIG’s Healthcare Studio

Jersey Shore & JFK Medical projects focus on enhancing patient and staff experience

DIGroup Architecture’s Healthcare Studio has added two new acute-care hospital project completions to its résumé with the opening of an Emergency Department Observation Unit at Hackensack Meridian Health’s Jersey Shore University Medical Center and near-completion of an interior medical building fit out at 80 James St. in Edison. The latter is home to the Advanced Lung and Airway Center and Outpatient Infusion Center at JFK University Medical Center.

“Each of these treatment spaces has been intentionally designed for functionality, staff and service efficiency, medical-equipment accommodation and the physical and psychological comfort of patients and visitors,” Bob Ryan, the principal who spearheads the firm’s Healthcare Studio, said.

At Jersey Shore, New Brunswick-based DIG designed an 18-bed observation unit to help reduce Emergency Department patient volume and increase care-efficiency standards. The unit allows patients with a less-than-24-hour stay to be moved from the ED to the observation unit.

Offering maximum visibility from the nurse’s core, the 7,645-square-foot Observation Unit is designated for patients expected to be discharged home or transferred for an extended stay once the appropriate beds become available.

“Due to the orientation of the overall space at the intersection of where three different buildings converge, the DIG team subdivided the unit to create duplicity for two staffing stations while retaining singular shared support spaces and equipment,” Ryan said.  “To streamline the process from design to construction start and completion, we employed the use of digital scanning, which proved extremely useful in locating all columns by popping existing tiles.”

In addition to its creative and user-friendly architectural designs and elements, the DIG interiors and graphics teams incorporated calming finishes, a faux-wood finished ceiling and creative wayfinding to achieve a less-clinical atmosphere.

To the north in Middlesex County, another DIG architect-of-record assignment is currently underway at JFK in Edison. A former corporate office building, 80 James St. is the focus of a complete fit-out across three floors totaling 36,000 square feet. In addition to designing a dedicated space for the screening, diagnosis, treatment and management of respiratory diseases and disorders, DIG’s team helped the medical center realize its vision for centralized oncology services.

Within the new oncology space, DIG created individual infusion bays with sliding partitions that allow for privacy and/or social engagement based on each patient’s personal preferences. Additionally, each bay faces exterior windows offering abundant natural light and exterior views.

The fit-out of 80 James St. marks the second DIG assignment at JFK Medical Center, where the firm completed the design of the hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department. The firm’s multidisciplinary renovation effort incorporated a color system of playful graphics that successfully and creatively differentiated treatment spaces while putting young patients at ease.