Thursday, December 31, 2015

Memorial Sloan Kettering Masterminds the Future of Patient-Focused Care

NYC's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will open its outpatient surgery center in January.
Nobody likes going to the hospital—especially when it’s for something big and scary, like cancer. Sanitary white walls, humming machinery, woozy patients and worried family members—no thanks! But one hospital is aiming to make your visit quicker, friendlier, and more comfortable even if you’re suffering from a serious illness.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan’s Upper East Side will open its $200 million new outpatient surgery center this January. With the latest technology, room for future innovations, and a gorgeous design by Perkins Eastman and ICRAVE, the Josie Robertson Surgery Center will completely redefine what it means to go to the hospital.

Thanks to an active board including Bill E Ford (General Atlantic), James Robinson (RRE Ventures LLC), and Charles Sawyers (The Column Group LLC), the new Surgery Center will not only look great; it will comfort both patients and their families, as well as making use of the cutting edge of healthcare technology (think robots in surgery and iPads available for patient use!).

One big technological win is that patients will receive plastic tracking badges as soon as they arrive. These badges will collect data about how much the patients can move around after surgery and how well they’re recovering. That’s good not just for the patient and their doctor, but also for useful insight into future patient needs.

As for patients’ families, they’ll have plenty of support as well, including mobile device charging stations and an Xbox nook for fitness activities in the waiting room. The building design, inspired by hotel lobbies and co-working spaces, will put them at ease during a stressful time.

And we’re talking serious surgery here—say, a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction—performed with state-of-the-art equipment and in a healthy, soothing environment that gets patients in and out within a day.

JRSC exists partly because Memorial Sloan Kettering’s main campus is running out of room. But it’s also meant to be a place where medical staff can innovate and really serve their patients face-to-face and in a personal way.

“There’s nothing else like this that I’ve ever heard of,” said Brett Simon, and anesthesiologist and the JRSC’s director. He also pointed out his team’s dedication to meaningful patient interaction and support: “While it might not be that hard, medically, to get someone out the door, having them emotionally and spiritually happy and feeling supported is really a big deal.”