Saint Alphonsus Neuro, Surgical, Trauma ICU
Saint Alphonsus has been a healthcare provider in the Treasure Valley for more than 125 years. Building on their reputation as a trusted community resource, Saint Alphonsus has become a leader in specialties such as stroke and trauma care. With the advancement of neuroscience and technology, Saint Alphonsus recognized the need to evolve its neuro critical care offerings and bring these services to Idaho. They engaged Cushing Terrell to help create the state’s first — and only — Neuro, Surgical, Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at its Regional Medical Center in Boise.
The Cushing Terrell team, with partner Andersen Construction, worked with Saint Alphonsus to increase its capacity by 35 beds with 18 fully equipped critical-care rooms and 17 stepdown rooms, staff areas, nursing alcoves, and team centers. Rooms on the east end of the unit are for variable acuity patients, while rooms on the west end are for critical care patients. Other aspects of the project included relocating telemetry from the fifth floor of the north tower to the fourth floor of the central tower; adding state-of-the-art technology and accessibility systems (ceiling booms and ceiling-mounted lifts) to patient rooms; space planning to ensure access for a new portable CT scanner; and enhancing wayfinding to improve the user experience.
Wayfinding was a key element of the project with a focus on solutions to aid the efficient flow of patients, staff, and visitors. The design team employed both signage and materials to help guide people through the very large floor plate. For example, the patient-room side of the corridor features a lighter band of flooring to highlight room locations, while darker flooring designates team centers. The flooring in hallways helps break up the linear nature of the long corridors by delineating nursing alcoves with a different type of flooring. This same design was implemented at the ceiling with soffits surrounding the nursing alcoves and team centers. Graphic wall protection panels throughout help brighten staff work areas and play a role in wayfinding and placemaking.
To further facilitate flow, the team designed connecting corridors — one from the third floor to the existing critical care unit department and the other as a public connector to the main hospital. This later connection corridor, designed as a respite area for visitors and staff, features clerestory (high) windows to capture daylight and views of downtown Boise and the surrounding foothills. Additionally, a family lounge incorporates a product called Light Glass, which mimics changes in daylight, making this fully interior space feel like it has windows.
As a center for healing, the combination of technology, wayfinding, ample space, and soothing, nature-inspired interior design elements, such as the cheerful donor wall, help ensure the best care and experience for patients, staff, and visitors at this first-of-its-kind facility in Idaho.