How to Enhance Hope: Re-Inventing Cancer Care Environments on the Macro and Micro Level
HISTORY + MISSION OF THE INSTITUTE
The Moncrief Cancer Institute is backed by a history of devotion to excellence in patient care dating back to the 1950s. This most recent project, completed in 2017, expanded the facility into a four-story, 60,000 square-foot building on four beautifully landscaped acres in the Ft. Worth, TX, medical district.
OUTREACH MISSION OF THE MONCRIEF CANCER INSTITUTE
EDUCATION + COMMUNITY OUTREACH
PREVENTION + EARLY DETECTION
BEHAVIORAL + NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE
RESEARCH + INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
The team began the process with visioning workshops to understand what the primary goals for the project would be. It was quite evident from the earliest conversations that the design would be about the people. The Institute’s staff and providers are very passionate, very empathetic. There was overwhelming consensus that this place should enable a personal journey of hope for each patient and their care partners. And just one element to express this concept of a journey would be a curated art gallery.
Patients should have some control over their environment – especially since they often feel so out of control about what this disease and the treatment is doing to them. Also, the team wanted patients to have an unprecedented choice to engage with physicians, staff, family and other patients…or not…depending how they felt during each treatment.
The treatment and consulting areas should be filled with natural light, include positive distraction and facilitate patient education. If we want to change the future of cancer, and that comes through research, what can we do to help educate patients and families to increase the number of patients willing to get involved in clinical research? By integrating design elements that encourage collaboration between clinician and patients. First, through simple worksurface modifications in consultation rooms and, second, by leveraging technology to consult with specialists in the US and beyond. In the context of the Moncrief Institute, technology is integrated to the extent that it is not any more imposing than a standard conference room.
TAKING CARE OF CLINICIANS
Taking care of patients and care partners starts with taking care of clinical care givers. This includes workplace efficiencies, respite spaces with views to nature, access to healing gardens, team-building initiatives and celebrating accomplishments.