Unity Health Care Brentwood

The design intent was to create a waiting area designed with intention and community engagement (patients, family, staff, and providers), improve the experience, and increase satisfaction. An intervention was designed around five key insights that came directly from pre-occupancy data collection efforts, including surveys, observations, behavioral mapping, and community outreach. They represent unmet needs in the existing space.

  1. Define personal space
  2. Clarify the check-in process
  3. Support the process (completing forms, occupying kids, waiting for a taxi)
  4. Encourage communication between patients
  5. Reflect the Brentwood community

Key Design Outcomes

Occupant - The new furniture arrangement increased communication among patients by 100 percent. Art representative of the community increased staff happiness by 45 percent and art inspired by the community improved the waiting experience. Complaints about wait time decreased by 25 percent.

Space - The revised furniture selections and layout challenged the conventional wisdom about ganged seats being the most efficient solution by adding seven additional seats. Additionally, the wider seat selections and increased spacing between seats resulted in increased utilization. In the original design, patients spread out into two to three seats to define their personal space. In the new design, patients utilized one to two seats.

Organization - The most popular seats were closest to registration and call points, and the more conversational seating arrangements led to a 100 percent increase in communication between people who did not arrive at the clinic together. Families visiting the clinic gravitated to the small clusters of seats facing each other, as was intended, and individuals gravitated to the bench seats where they could watch the room.

Society - The community was a part of the process through every step of the design. As part of pre-occupancy data collection, surveys and a lunch discussion elicited input from staff, and a community event gathered insights from patients and the Brentwood neighborhood. During the event, participants described Brentwood in their own words, generated ideas for improving the waiting room, and voiced opinions on color and pattern. Participants also used magnetic cutouts of words to express themselves—producing inspirational messages like "reach above awesome" and "grow". The ideas from this event became the basis for design interventions. The community’s words were reflected in macramé art depicting Brentwood, the quilt wall's reflection of their poetic words, and the colors and patterns throughout the space.