North Alabama Medical Center
In 2019, Barge Design Solutions acquired Nashville-based Gould Turner Group (GTG). Read full article.
North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC), a new 263-bed hospital, was designed to replace two outdated hospitals which had served northern Alabama for over 70 years. The challenge was to merge the services of two hospitals into one large, comprehensive facility while humanizing its scale for users and providing a patient and family centric design.
Hospital staff had the opportunity to shape the layout of various hospital spaces through the use of 3D renderings early in the design phase. This virtually eliminated change orders and helped set the stage for efficient operations with minimal learning curves once the facility opened. Elements such as storage alcoves between patient rooms, accommodations for charting within patient rooms, supplies located near their point of use, and other features for quick and effective care were incorporated largely due to staff feedback.
NAMC’s design showcases local artwork and draws inspiration from the region through color, material, and furniture choices. From the hospital’s main entrance, which also serves as its outpatient entrance, visitors enter an expansive two story, light filled lobby which doubles as circulation throughout public and outpatient areas of the first floor. This lobby provides immediate access to clinical services (imaging and outpatient surgery), public spaces (dining and classroom space), and elevator access to inpatient care units.
Patient rooms on the nursing floors include sleeper sofas and recliner chairs to accommodate patients and families. Patients can control room lighting bedside or can choose to darken their room with solar and/or blackout window shades.
Family waiting rooms on each floor are spacious and filled with natural light, and seating arrangements delineate areas for both solitude and engagement. A private waiting room with recliner chairs for family members is located off the main critical care waiting room.
This new facility allows NAMC to provide the Shoals region with greater access to quality healthcare. Since opening, the hospital has grown its emergency, inpatient, and outpatient services exponentially while also expanding existing service lines, such as its comprehensive stroke care center, for which it was awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality” award. This award recognizes quality achievement measures that are aligned with speeding patient recovery time and reducing mortality rates. This project also won the “Best Projects Award” from Engineering News-Record Southeast in the Health Care category.
The building is designed for horizontal and vertical expansion, including consideration of plans for a future cancer center.