A covered patient drop off with convenient parking, a large waiting room with comfortable seating, a simple registration process, exam rooms large enough to accommodate the patient, their family and the doctor, a layout that makes it easy to find where you’re going – these are just a few of the ideas from patients and physicians that will be incorporated into the new Mercy Clinic design.
“Since we’re starting from scratch on this building, we’ve listened to our patients and physicians and designed a 21st century clinic that will help us reach our goal of making each doctor’s visit as easy as possible for the patient,” said Dr. Cole Goodman, Mercy Clinic president. “This building will actually be a prototype for all new Mercy facilities across the region.”
The centerpiece of the design is the Mercy “lantern”. The lantern will be a feature on all new Mercy buildings and serve to identify the main patient entry. The large rectangular glass entry will extend above the roof of the building. It will let in lots of natural light during the day and be lit to a soft glow at night.
“We know going to the doctor can make people anxious,” said Dr. Sean Baker, Mercy Clinic’s medical director of primary care. “Everything about this building is designed to be warm and welcoming from the colors on the walls to the ease of finding your way around.”
The clinic will also be wired for Mercy’s electronic health record. Each room will have monitors on moveable arms so doctors can show patients their x-rays or lab results at the touch of a button. Several suites will also be equipped with cameras and diagnostic tools for telemedicine consults if needed.
The 12,940 square foot building will be located on Dallas Street just east of the Mercy Fitness Center. It will have 26 exam rooms as well as in-house lab and x-ray facilities. It will accommodate up to ten providers.
“This new facility will allow us to move some of our primary care providers to one location while leaving room to recruit new physicians to the area,” said Matt Keep, Mercy Clinic COO. “This is just the first of five new buildings planned over the next 8-10 years to keep up with the growth of Mercy Clinic and the demand for physicians in this area.”
The new facility is part of Mercy’s community master plan unveiled last August. In all, Mercy has plans to spend an estimated $192 million in capital projects and improvements over the next ten years. This clinic project will cost an estimated $4.4 million dollars. Nearly 80% of the subcontractors doing work on the clinic building will be Fort Smith businesses. Another 13% are from northwest or central Arkansas.
The new building is expected to be complete in the fall of 2012.
Mercy Clinic includes more than 80 providers practicing 21 medical specialties in 16 locations serving Fort Smith and the surrounding communities. It is part of the St. Edward Mercy Health System.