Patients are the inspiration behind the design of the Group Health Bellevue Medical Center, which will open July 1. The four-story, 190,000 square-foot medical center will be home to the largest multi-specialty practice in East King County with 125 physicians representing more than 25 medical specialties.
The more than 1,100 patients expected to walk through the doors each day will find all the care they need in one place with primary care, more than 25 specialty services, a pharmacy, lab, medical imaging, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour urgent care center.
The Group Health Medical Center represents a commitment to meeting the health care needs of East King County now and in the future, said Group Health President and CEO Scott Armstrong. The state-of-the-art design provides a healing environment, comfort, safety and privacy for patients and their families.
Ellerbe Becket, one the worlds leading health care architects, who designed the Mayo Clinic, helped create a medical center with open areas and abundant sunlight, which has been found to lower stress, create calmness and contribute to better health outcomes, Group Health officials say. Becket incorporated sustainable materials, warm textures and natural lighting in the center’s innovative design, capturing his interpretation of Northwest elegance.
To nurture physician-patient relationships, larger exam rooms feature a curtained changing area, a couch for patients or family and special lighting for exams or consultations. The rooms were designed to be adaptable and provide a sense of luxury care.
Jill Ostrem, the vice president of East King County at Group Health described the rooms as “the heart and soul of the building where patients will get the care needed.” Each room provides access to computers and Group Health’s clinical information system so patients and doctors can review medical records together.
An on-stage, off-stage design throughout the medical center keeps public areas calming, comfortable and focused on patient needs. Becket chose this design structure to create a more residential and less institutional feel for the patients and staff. In the off-stage zones there are separate staff entrances, elevators, corridors and workspaces to promote collaboration among physicians and staff.
Looking forward and anticipating growth, Group Health took a flexible approach to design that accommodates changes in care and technology. Patient rooms, for example, are universal and can be reconfigured. “The flexibility that was built into the center’s design will allow us to grow and use this huge investment to its fullest,” Ostrem explained.
Group Health physicians, surgeons, and midwifes will provide inpatient care at Overlake Hospital Medical Center, adjacent to the Bellevue Medical Center. Staff, patients and family will use a link that connects the two facilities. The connecting corridor creates a synergy between the two buildings and provides a better flow for quality patient care.