There’s something different about the Mercy Virtual Care Center, the world’s first freestanding facility for telemedicine. Not only does it house the nation’s largest single-hub electronic intensive care unit, but the center also provides a platform for telemedicine and telehealth innovation and a testing ground for new health care products and services.
The Center is the product of collaboration between the client, experiential design firm Clickspring Design, architect Forum Studios and systems integrator McCann Systems.
Mercy hired Clickspring to create the contemporary workspace, integrating sophisticated telemedicine technology with the harmony of the site’s natural beauty. As a longtime partner in creating one-of-a-kind AV experiences, McCann Systems was selected by Clickspring Design to engineer and then integrate the technologies in the space.
The four-story, 125,000-square-foot center in Chesterfield, Mo., accommodates nearly 400 physicians, nurses, specialists, researchers and support staff. Care is delivered 24/7 via audio, video and data connections to locations across Mercy as well as outside of Mercy through partnerships with other health care systems and large employers. Huddle and conference rooms allow groups of various sizes to assemble for private discussion or virtual engagements.
After several months of design, construction on the center started in May 2014, with a grand opening and blessing ceremony held Oct. 6, 2015.
The Mercy Virtual Care Center was carefully positioned to save existing woodlands, while offering an amazing indoor/outdoor experience for the building’s occupants. Floor-to-ceiling exterior glass walls allow natural light to fill the building and provide a direct view of the outside. This abundance of natural light was taken into consideration when engineering and selecting all display components.
Throughout the center, materials such as natural stone, tile and exposed wood are used to incorporate raw outdoor elements with the sophisticated indoor tech. Working closely with Clickspring and Forum, McCann Systems integrated energy-efficient display and communications solutions.
Along the center’s tour route, digital innovations tell the narrative of the Sisters of Mercy. Guests glimpse the future of health care while learning of the organization’s deep history. A briefing area tells the story of the Sisters of Mercy with one 6 x 2 46-inch NEC micro-bezel video wall and two 55-inch NEC touch-capable, portrait-mounted displays.
1. McCann Systems worked closely with hospital staffers to ensure the center incorporated their needs and desires.
2. The design team spent several months talking about what should go where, and the planning created a facility everyone likes.
3. The center has led to healthier people thanks to technology.
End User Takeaways:
1. Mezzanine software allows physicians, leaders, and colleagues to see and respond in real-time; live video streams bring people into work sessions from around the world
2. Services now clustered at the Virtual Care Center augment direct patient care in seven states; telemedicine enhances access particularly in rural and remote areas
3. Patient care programs previously based in other facilities are now given more opportunity for collaboration and growth.
Christie, NEC, Sharp, Yamaha monitors, Chief mounts, Thinklogical video extenders
Signage control is driven by an X2O platform, with user-friendly content management tools and dynamic, fully interactive channels. The video wall is fed from a three-output X2O player PC and controlled by the portrait-mounted screens.
The bulk of Mercy’s virtual programs are housed on the second floor, considered the “heart and soul” of the Virtual Care Center. This includes Mercy Virtual’s flagship product line, SafeWatch. This line of services includes the largest single-hub electronic intensive care unit in the nation, provides on-demand telestroke evaluation and treatment in the ED, a virtual sepsis unit, and hospitalist/nursing services throughout the hospital. This is complemented by a full suite of telehealth services designed for the clinic and home, such as home biometric monitoring and nurse on call.
Randy Moore, president of Mercy Virtual, noted the center has started to realize cost savings in SafeWatch and other programs, with more than a 30 percent reduction in length of stay for patients versus the national predictors. Such savings can benefit Mercy and its partners directly in the future, as care moves away from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement.
The Pioneer Wall is a contemporary translation of an anamorphic projection, a form of perspective that relies on a single viewing point. As guests move closer, the six strategically staggered 30 x 116-inch Christie Velvet 4mm LED columns create one continuous canvas. The custom interface allows easy asset upload to the browser-based X2O portal, with the ability to control and schedule shows from any mobile, laptop or desktop device.
The wall is set in an open area, backlit by the sun streaming through the glass wall behind it. McCann Systems engineered and specified high-contrast LED for this high-profile canvas, making the historical content pop against ambient light and polished floors.
The divisible conference center is a versatile working space, capable of operation in various configurations. Fully integrated with the room lighting system, the system utilizes contact closure data and automatically adjusts based on the state of the wall partitions.
Each of the three divisible rooms is outfitted with a 3 x 3 video wall connected to a windowing processor, for an overall image size of 165 inches per display, supporting side-by-side and picture-in-picture functions. A wireless presentation system allows users to collaborate from a laptop or mobile device.
The garage is a workspace that turns meetings into true work sessions. Oblong Mezzanine software creates an immersive workspace that spans screens, walls, and even locations. The 9 x 3 55-inch video wall is a multipurpose display with emphasis on analytic monitoring and teamwork. A custom-designed interface allows content to easily and simultaneously be shared with others and shifted from one device to another.