Innovative Clinic Design | Sanford Health

Innovative Clinic Design Improves the Patient Experience

How Sanford Health Uses Patient Self-Rooming to Improve Clinic Patient Flow


When Sanford Health decided to transform the patient experience, they called on JLG Architects to reimagine healthcare clinical delivery in the 21st century. This grand undertaking led to a new prototype for the Sanford Health Clinical Model, and the innovative clinic design construction of a new $11.2 million, 49,250 square foot facility to serve the people of Moorhead and the surrounding Minnesota communities.

“A fabulous design process led to an innovative design for a clinic that will have a direct impact on our patients.”

– Phil Siek, Senior Project Manager


The first of its kind in the Sanford system, the Moorhead Clinic follows a collaborative, onstage-offstage care delivery model that makes clinic visits more efficient for providers and less time-consuming for the patient.

The project includes 52 exam rooms organized into separate, flexible neighborhoods that each contain a procedure room and all staff work spaces. In addition, there is space built out for a future exam room neighborhood, giving Sanford Health flexibility to expand as the market dictates. Furthermore, there is a large diagnostic wing dedicated to laboratory spaces, a radiology suite, occupational medicine, and a large pharmacy.

The building’s exterior articulation reflects the Sanford Gothic style and the interior design creates well-defined, yet efficient and understated spaces that promote well-being and healing.

Patient Self-Rooming

Using the option of both a patient concierge as well as an electronic kiosk, patients are assigned a particular exam room in the clinic when they pick up their RTLS badge. The staff is available to direct the patient towards their exam room and intuitive wayfinding is incorporated into the building’s interior design (color coded bulkheads and carpet tiles). Respite areas throughout the clinic offer opportunities for families or patients to sit if required. In addition, each exam room is equipped with a scale, blood pressure monitoring, etc., to take patient vitals in their own room prior to an exam. 

Efficient Physician Work Spaces

The standard model for the clinic physician office was a standard 120 square foot office that was closed off from the rest of the clinical staff. However, to improve collaboration and efficiencies, the Moorhead clinic developed pods of “touch down” physician workstations that allowed for providers to have a space to answer emails, take calls, work on dictation, etc., while still being able to easily collaborate with staff and other physicians. These modular stations can be reconfigured as needs change over time, offering cost-effective flexibility.


This new, patient-centered approach to care has had a significant impact on efficiency of staff and the overall patient experience:

  • Reduced the number of waiting room chairs from 6.2 to 2.8 per provider
  • Patient’s first contact with a nurse was reduced from 5 minutes to 2 minutes
  • Nursing staff saved nearly 26 hours – or 32 miles per month – through patient self-rooming

Customer Profile

Sanford Health is the largest rural, non-profit IDN in the United States with 39 hospitals, 225 clinics and over 26,000 employees. Their 49,000-square foot clinic in Moorhead includes 52 exam rooms and is home to over 20 physicians and clinicians and 100 staff members.


Software Platform Partner:        Intelligent InSites
RTLS Hardware Partner:             Sonitor Technology


Learn more about Intelligent InSites software solutions for the healthcare industry.

InSites for Clinics
Improve patient flow and increase staff productivity and efficiency.

InSites Asset Management
Save time and increase equipment utilization in your healthcare facility.

InSites for Acute Care
Improve patient flow and hold times in your emergency department.