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UPMC Innovates a Next-Generation Solution for New Hospital

Nature, Technology, Connection the Focus of UPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital at UPMC Presbyterian Opening in 2022

Pittsburgh’s evolution as a global center of medical science takes a dramatic step forward with UPMC’s investment in visionary approaches to healthcare. One aspect of that future arrives in 2022, with the opening of the UPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital at UPMC Presbyterian. Designed by HGA, a national multidisciplinary design firm, the hospital’s bold architecture will communicate UPMC’s capabilities as a world-class healthcare provider.

UPMC and HGA’s transformative approach to hospital-based care includes using digital technology to simplify treatment and enhance person-to-person connections; providing natural spaces in concert with beautiful architecture to boost the healing power of a serene environment; and creating radically clear patient pathways and planning enhanced by nature and dramatic design.

“UPMC embodies HGA’s mission to design and deliver a state-of-the-art healthcare environment,” says Kurt Spiering, FAIA, ACHA, Principal/Healthcare Leader at HGA. “It has the critical mass to move an industry forward and change healthcare standards across the country. We’re honored to be working on this iconic project in the life of UPMC.”

HGA and UPMC’s Enterprise Group are engaging with patients, families, staff, residents, providers, and administrators in an interactive design process to determine service and experiential needs. This process, called Experience Design Research, uses social research techniques to understand real needs across many groups and design hospitals that will work for generations to come.

The design invites patients, staff, families and neighbors to gather, mingle and celebrate at a dynamic urban crossroads overlooking 5th Avenue. The organization and design of patient rooms, work spaces for caregivers, public areas and amenities will draw from the energy of everyday life and the beauty of nature to create a dramatically inviting environment of care. Visitors will experience a natural refuge that offers amenities from retail to dining to wellness classes and more.

The project features a park within the hospital that includes a series of terraced gardens that both honor the site’s historic legacy as a place of “healing on a hill” and conceal important services and functional components. The entire entry experience, public circulation, clinical waiting areas, staff /visitor services and patient floors will enjoy park views and the healing power of nature.

In several places, both public and private, nearly invisible digital technology will be used to benefit patients and staff by creating more time and space to nurture person-to-person connections, and to enhance patient and family understanding of the myriad of healthcare choices.

Private patient rooms will include a continuous direct digital device that spans across walls and ceiling. Through this, rooms can be customized, individualizing the healing experience with scenery or personal photos; opting in to interactive rehabilitation classes; interacting with family from home and including visitors in a virtual physician consultation. Staff will use this interactive interface to access patient vitals, input information and consult doctor orders. This technology frees up floor space, improving the patient experience and staff efficiency.

The hospital will train the first generation of physicians and staff to harness the transformative powers of artificial intelligence. This group will interact with the HGA-designed “holodeck,” a nimble integrated technology space that supports diagnosis, treatment planning, team collaboration, teaching and information retrieval and delivery.

“This is not just another hospital,” says Bryan Cannon, AIA, Design Principal, HGA. “Advanced technology and sophisticated design will help further position Pittsburgh as a global center for medical science and to promote UMPC’s visionary approach and world-class healthcare services. It’s a project that brings the art of architecture, the science of engineering and the advances of medicine under one exciting roof. A project that will transform the healthcare experience for patients and families for generations to come.”

For more information, visit UPMC.