Establishing furniture standards provides medical clinics with consistency and cost efficiency
Stone tile was incorporated, along with a feature wall behind the reception desk.
Swedish Medical Group, one of the largest nonprofit health providers in greater Seattle, has a network of more than 100 primary and specialty care clinics. Over the last five years, Workspace Interiors and Callison, a global architecture and design firm headquartered in Seattle, have worked closely with Swedish Medical Group to open dozens of new clinic locations.
Prompted by the development of a brand color palette by its umbrella organization, Swedish Medical Group began work with Callison brand strategists to hone how its brand was expressed in the built environment.
Workspace Interiors and Callison implemented the new color palette for the first time in a clinic Swedish Medical Group was opening in Seattle’s South Lake Union (SLU) neighborhood.
"We wanted everyone, from staff to patients and their families, to know they were in a Swedish Medical Group clinic the minute they walked in the door.”
South Lake Union is home to biotech and high-tech firms, and the clinic itself was to be embedded in the Amazon.com campus and serve many of its employees. As a result, the look and feel of the SLU clinic needed to appeal to the urban setting’s more modern clientele.
The SLU clinic project convinced the parties to begin developing a set of furniture standards for all Swedish Medical Group clinics. With this in mind, representatives from Workspace Interiors, Callison and the client traveled to Chicago for NeoCon, North America’s largest commercial interiors conference.
The resulting space has dramatic 14-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows in some areas, and reflects the hospitality concept that Swedish Medical Group embraces. Furniture from Global, Carolina, HBF, Loewenstein and Nemschoff adds a modern feel in staff offices and patient areas.
The use of glass brought natural light into the space, and elements of the clinic brand identity in the corporate setting meant executives, foundation members and visitors would always recognize that they were at Swedish Medical Group.
As Callison and Workspace Interiors were completing the SLU clinic, they were tasked with outfitting Swedish Medical Group’s leadership team offices. Callison and Workspace Interiors firms looked to the furniture standards determined at NeoCon to create a multi-functional environment for offices, board meetings and foundation events.
The focal point is a state-of-the-art boardroom including a custom conference table that allows for monitors to pop out and supplement the projection screen. Built-in microphones enable everyone to hear discussions no matter where they are sitting.
Smaller executive offices were offset by converting private office conference space into teaming areas to encourage collaboration.
"We sat in hundreds of chairs. This valuable experience allowed us to find modern, high-end furniture that is moderate in price and meets patient needs.”
According to Theresa Wood, senior interior designer at Callison, the medical furniture standards, whose roots began at NeoCon, made all the difference in completing the leadership team office project within the tight nine-week construction timeline.
Following the completion of the leadership team offices, the three project partners—Swedish Medical Group, Workspace Interiors and Callison—formalized two furniture standards: transitional and modern. Each standard, the use of which depends on a clinic’s location, contains about 30 pieces and allows for numerous unique furniture and fabric combinations.
Today, instead of reviewing catalogs to choose pieces for each clinic, Callison refers to the furniture standards, cutting a five- to seven-day process down to just two. That upfront standards work now helps Swedish Medical Group realize cost savings on every single project.
"We’re very pleased to be an Intalere partner. The cost savings we realize working both with them and Workspace Interiors benefit the patients we serve.”
Additional cost savings are gained through Swedish Medical Group’s contract with healthcare group purchasing organization Intalere (formerly Amerinet). Because of Workspace Interiors’ relationship with Intalere, any purchases made by Swedish Medical Group through Workspace Interiors apply to its Intalere contract.
Wood says that without the camaraderie of working with Workspace Interiors, projects with tight deadlines like the leadership team offices would be difficult to execute.
“We’re a team, but we’re also a family,” Wood adds. “We know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and we’re all here to work together to deliver the best possible product we can.”
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"Workspace Interiors are true partners in every sense of the word. They work hand in hand with us, coordinating all the various elements that go into creating a clinic location that exceeds patient and staff expectations. We couldn’t do it without them.”
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