The Tour of the New Sanford Medical Center in Fargo – Designed for a Seamless Patient Experience

Shanna Flanagan

There is less than a week to the grand opening of the Sanford Medical Center Fargo and we could not be more excited about it – as a resident of the Fargo-Moorhead area, and as a team member of Intelligent InSites.

When Sanford Health hosted a Community Open House back in June, we had the opportunity to see firsthand how patient-centric and community-oriented this new healthcare facility is.

Here are a few of our favorite experiences from the tour:

Welcoming Atmosphere

When you enter the hospital atrium, you feel like you have entered a familiar space, a space that does not overwhelm you but welcomes you with calming art and thoughtful interior design. To help you navigate through the one-million square-foot facility, Sanford Health deployed a wayfinding solution for patients and visitors.

On-Stage and Off-Stage Design

When you walk the hospital floors, you know that the entire hospital was designed for a seamless experience for patients. Certain spaces of the hospital serve as an “off-stage” area, where behind the scenes, day-to-day operational tasks take place, without interrupting patients’ healing processes. For example, there are two types of elevators: one for visitors’ use, and the second type – to transport patients, staff, and supplies. Also, there are designated spaces for storing equipment, which help prevent corridor clutter. Another interesting concept is the process of resupplying patient rooms – the double door shelving units allow for restocking supplies and removing soiled linens without the need to enter patients’ rooms.

Designed for Efficiency

When touring the hospital, we had the chance to talk to some of Sanford’s staff members who were very excited about their new hospital and the ways they will be able to even better serve their patients. When chatting with Ron Frisk, Manager of Respiratory Care, he shared that the lean design of the hospital will allow them to be more efficient and effective with their patients, which translates to more time at the patient bedside. Some examples he provided included:

Mirroring the layout of the floors

By doing this, staff can intuitively navigate throughout the hospital, and easily locate spaces for storing clean equipment or putting away dirty equipment. This helps shorten the onboarding time for new employees and makes daily operations smoother when staff float between floors.

Deploying a real-time location system for asset tracking

With the use of an RTLS system, finding medical equipment is easy, as a nurse or other member of the care team can simply type the name of a piece of equipment they need on the mobile device and see its location immediately, instead of scouting all nooks and crannies of the hospital. The system is supplied by our company, and so it’s fun for me to see it in action in ways that make such a positive impact.

Seamless supply chain processes

The RTLS system also provides the ability to set a minimum and a maximum number of supplies in dirty and clean storage areas. With a real-time PAR dashboard, the supply team is able to see what and when they need to restock or bring back for sterilization. This will eliminate the need for care teams to make phone calls to request a piece of equipment or situations where soiled medical equipment is piling up in patient care areas.

There were so many other exciting things to experience at the new Sanford Medical Center – the amazing views from each patient room, a hockey-themed kids’ play area, and how could we forget to mention –  gourmet cupcakes!

We look forward to the 25th of July when the hospital opens its doors to its first patients – Hello Future!