Building a Future of Excellence
BIDMC breaks new ground with West Campus inpatient facility
Embracing its new role as the hub for complex care within the Beth Israel Lahey Health system, BIDMC's effort to construct the city's most advanced medical facility is well underway, with plans to welcome its first patients in 2023. This remarkable new facility will modernize and upgrade the medical center's environment to enable it to respond to the increasingly acute needs of our patients, while training and cultivating the physician – leaders of tomorrow.
Situated on BIDMC's West Campus at the corner of Brookline Avenue and Francis Street, this building will serve as the new gateway to the prestigious Longwood Medical Area, perpetuating BIDMC's status as a world-class academic medical center and leading Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Reflecting BIDMC's deep commitment to patient-centered care, every aspect of the new inpatient building was designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of those it serves, with architects incorporating valuable feedback from the staff who treat patients every day.
"The harmonious combination of innovation and thoughtfulness is evident in our new building's design and will attract patients from around the globe who seek our distinctive brand of medicine," says Peter J. Healy, president of BIDMC. "It will also allow us to maintain our competitive edge in the Boston-area healthcare marketplace by helping us attract and retain the best and the brightest physicians and staff."
It doesn't stop there. This exciting project will not only elevate BIDMC, but will also make a meaningful impact on the city at large. In addition to the building's construction, the medical center will invest in community-based health initiatives, partner with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and contribute to pedestrian and cyclist improvements along the Riverway and Brookline Avenue.
For patients, by patients
BIDMC is building its new facility to stand the test of time, not just structurally, but in how it will function to meet patients' changing needs. To ensure this, the design team prioritized patient input.
"We gathered feedback from hundreds of hospital stakeholders including clinicians, patients and families, staff, and leadership, in addition to community groups and city regulatory agencies," says Patricia Folcarelli, RN, PhD, vice president for Health Care Quality. "The result will be a structure suited to our unique needs and built to reflect our equally unique culture of compassion and respect."
In addition to 158 new inpatient beds and public and family spaces, the building will include an inpatient pavilion, a surgical pavilion housing eight state-of-the-art operating rooms, an intensive care center, and four cardiac procedure rooms — all designed to maximize the patient experience. "BIDMC cares for the most high-risk, vulnerable patients, so seeking their input was truly paramount to our design process," says Marsha Maurer, DNP, RN, Cynthia and Robert J. Lepofsky Chief Nursing Officer and senior vice president for Patient Care Services.
Inside the building, improved room layouts, updated lighting, and multi-purpose workstations will allow clinicians to continually monitor and communicate with patients. All inpatient and intensive care unit rooms will be outfitted with overhead patient lifts for enhanced safety. Highly advanced drug dispensaries and documentation areas will ensure greater accuracy. A brand new emergency helipad and bridge to the Berenson Emergency Department will prioritize the safety of our critically ill patients. Even the building's floors will be safer — their seamless edges will prevent the spread of bacteria and their firm but flexible material will minimize injuries due to falls while providing relief to staff who are on their feet all day.
"With innovations in infection control and leading-edge technology in this new facility, we will be poised to make enormous strides in quality and safety,"says Anthony Weiss, MD, MBA, chief medical officer. "It will offer us new opportunities to promote interaction, foster teamwork, and encourage efficiency while being flexible enough to adapt to our patients' needs over time."
Tech in mind
Imagine using virtual personal assistants and digital whiteboards to provide timely updates to patients, or bedside video conferencing to connect with physicians or loved ones anywhere in the world. The new inpatient building will be able to accommodate these innovations and more.
"Hospitals must be smart and able to evolve with new technologies," says Manu Tandon, MBA, MPA, chief information officer. "The level of digital connectivity in the new building will enable us to better understand patient, family, and clinician behavior and will allow our team to design apps and operating systems accordingly. Clinicians and researchers will be able to access data from patients and procedures in real time to inform medicine and improve outcomes."
A world-class experience
The building's spacious single-patient rooms will create a restful environment with comfortable furniture, designated space for families, and quiet and efficient ventilation systems. With bright, welcoming public areas, soaring lobbies, and a translucent sky bridge connector — all featuring open floorplans and soothing colors — the building will be as modern as it will be aesthetically pleasing. Patients, visitors, and staff can unwind outdoors in the rooftop healing garden or within the building's spaces for staff respite. With no detail too small, even the facade will be healing, complementing the Emerald Necklace with sandstone-colored terracotta and glazed green tiles — contributing to an improved experience for patients, staff, and passersby alike.
"Studies have shown that well-designed, calming, and appealing clinical environments can reduce pain, improve outcomes, and enhance the patient and staff experience," says Healy. "Operating and procedure rooms will be optimized to treat even the most complex diseases, allowing for centralized procedures and advanced technology within the hospital, which supports both patient comfort and staff efficiency. Enhancing the staff experience is critical to providing superior patient care."
As part of BIDMC's commitment to its education and research mission, conference centers in the new inpatient building will be multidisciplinary hubs for collaboration, providing additional teaching spaces for faculty to interact with medical students, residents, and staff. "In a renewal of our allegiance to education as a leading Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, the entire building will foster a culture of learning and collaboration," says Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, chief academic officer. "Moreover, our identity as a Harvard hospital provides an unparalleled opportunity to focus on a full range of patient-centered research — from basic discoveries to the development of new therapies, healthcare delivery models, population health science research, and more. The new building will be instrumental to our mission to be a source of world-class research and education."
Within the building, the latest video conferencing technologies will connect BIDMC to the Beth Israel Lahey Health system and to the world, enabling enhanced communication via telemedicine. Patient rooms and surgical suites will create ideal environments for our clinicians to conduct research and education. Open spaces throughout the facility will encourage interactions among clinicians and researchers that lead to shared ideas and cross-disciplinary projects — and ultimately, better care.
Through the establishment of Beth Israel Lahey Health, BIDMC will serve more patients than ever before across Massachusetts and beyond. "As a prominent part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) system, BIDMC is making an impact on a much broader scale," says Kevin Tabb, MD, president and CEO of BILH. "This building is vital to our success — not just as an institution, but as the state's premier integrated healthcare system. It will embody our ambitious, interconnected, and patient-centered approach to the future of healthcare delivery."