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Two of Us: Designing hospitals to improve patient experience

Thursday 6 May 2021

Putting patient experience at the heart of a hospital redevelopment has multifaceted benefits for all involved. 

Health Infrastructure Associate Project Director Antony Giorgini and Northern Sydney Local Health District Transition Manager Adrienne Stern share how this happened at the recently completed Clinical Services Building, as part of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital Redevelopment. 

“Putting the patient at the heart of a hospital redevelopment makes sure it is a welcoming and safe place for everyone,” says Antony.  

“Giving patients and carers the opportunity to have their say in what the hospital will look and feel like means they are more likely to access services when they need them.  

“On the flip side, this also has great benefits for the hospital staff. Working in a new, welcoming and safe environment can improve the attitude of staff, which in turn can also have a positive effect on their interactions and relationships with patients.”   

Adrienne agrees, adding that the general mood of staff who have moved into the new Clinical Services Building is very positive. 

“The patients are the reason we’re here, but we can even see a change in the attitudes of staff when working in a new facility,” says Adrienne.  

“A new hospital building is great for recruiting and retaining staff, and also for staff wellbeing. It really is a multifaceted result.”  

Inside the new building, there are a number of new features and areas designed specifically to improve the patient experience in the hospital, based on feedback from patients, carers and research undertaken by Hornsby Hospital’s senior clinicians.  

“The new robotic pharmacy too improves efficiency and productivity, which means pharmacists are now able to spend a lot more time in the wards talking to patients and carers about their medications and educating staff on the medications patients are on which is fantastic," says Adrienne.  

Antony adds hospital staff are especially proud of the new Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 

“There is so much more space in the new ICU; both patients and staff have much more room and privacy,” says Antony.  

"The fact that all patient rooms now have high windows and views to a beautiful courtyard makes such a difference too. It’s really important for patients, who sometimes don’t know what time of day it is, to be able to see outside. 

“The feedback we have had from patients when they have arrived to the facility this week has been so positive. It's been so rewarding working on this project, especially to see this kind of result and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.”  

Adrienne agrees, adding that along with hospital staff the whole redevelopment team also feels the positive energy and pride that comes from knowing the hospital will improve the patient experience.  

“To make these changes within a hospital setting requires a truly collaborative team. We could not have achieved what we have without HI, and other team members, working together with a commitment and focus to truly making things better for our patients.” 

The completion of the CSB is a major milestone for the project, with works now turning to the expansion of the emergency department and new main entry which is expected to be completed towards the end of this year. 

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