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RATCLIFF Designs Hospital of the Future for John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek Campus - April 3, 2008


RATCLIFF, the award-winning architecture, planning and interiors firm, master planned and designed a new five-story, 380,000-square-foot patient care tower accompanied by a 767-stall parking garage and 20,000-square-foot central plant at the John Muir Medical Center-Walnut Creek Campus. The Thomas J. and Muriel T. Long Patient Care Tower that recently broke ground will add 230 private and six semi-private rooms, increasing the hospital’s total beds by 27 percent to 416. RATCLIFF (http://www.ratcliffarch.com) developed a long-term program for remodel and expansion of the entire Walnut Creek Campus to address SB-1953 seismic safety issues and to assist the hospital in meeting future health care demands of this rapidly growing suburban area.

A phased, orderly approach to growth of the hospital campus over the next 50 years was integral to RATCLIFF’s master plan. The patient tower’s column-free zone from the perimeter of the building to the center core allows for future changes in location of rooms, if needed. In the surgery departments, operating rooms have been planned to accommodate advances in guided imagery and other surgical innovation in the future.

“We have master planned a framework that will facilitate future growth and changes, allowing John Muir to continue to be the outstanding hospital it is today,” said Crodd Chin, RATCLIFF principal and the project’s design architect.

New patient rooms are designed for privacy and noise reduction, natural lighting, and distinct “zones” for the patient, caregiver, family, hygiene, and equipment. These zones, in addition to the new facility’s plan to be nearly paperless, filmless, and wireless, help to enhance patient and visitor comfort, increase patient privacy and staff efficiency, and decrease medical errors and hospital acquired infections.

With the new tower addition, there will be 12 inpatient surgical suites located adjacent to the ICU and designed to accommodate current and future technology advances, such as intra-operative MRI and robotic surgery. The Emergency Department includes four trauma rooms and double the number of non-trauma emergency treatment stations (from 22 to 44). Additionally, the helipad will be relocated to the tower rooftop and a high-speed elevator will be employed to transport patients from the roof to the Emergency Department.

The Critical Care Services unit includes the addition of 24 private, spacious rooms with the availability of round-the-clock, real-time audio and video patient monitoring.

The Intensive Care Neonatal Nursery will increase the number of state-of-the-art infant beds from 19 to 35. Each room will incorporate noise control, adjustable diurnal lighting, and finishes free from volatile organic compounds and harmful chemicals to ensure the newborns’ well-being. Flexible chair/bed furniture will be incorporated to encourage parents to bond with their critically ill newborns.

Additionally, RATCLIFF coordinated and integrated the work of artists Gordon Huether and Ned Kahn throughout the new patient care tower in support of the City of Walnut Creek’s public art program.

Founded in 1906, RATCLIFF is the longest continually-operating architectural firm in the San Francisco Bay Area and winner of the AIA California Council 2005 Firm of the Year Award. The firm specializes in academic, healthcare, and civic facilities. RATCLIFF’s list of representative health care clients includes Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, ValleyCare Health System, and Kaiser Permanente. The Emeryville, Calif. firm is recognized as one of Interior Design magazine’s Top 40 Healthcare Design Firms in the United States.

A part of the John Muir Health system, John Muir Medical Center – Walnut Creek Campus is a 324-bed acute care facility that is designated as the trauma center for Contra Costa County and part of Solano County. Areas of specialty include high- and low-risk obstetrics, orthopedics, neurosciences, digestive disorders, cardiac care, and cancer care. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a national surveyor of quality patient care, and was ranked among America’s Best Hospitals in 2007 for orthopedics and digestive disorders by U.S. News and World Report.