by David Glick
New patients often face worry and uncertainty following a cancer diagnosis, and a first visit to the hospital can add to their anxiety. City of Hope recently unveiled renovations that aim to help ease patients’ minds by providing more comfort and a more efficient check-in process.
|Terry Closson, left, and Sharon Steingass marvel at “before-and-after” photos of newly renovated hospital space. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
The remodeled area, just inside the entrance to the Main Medical Building, created larger offices and a warm and inviting waiting area for patients and family members to gather before their initial appointments. Employees, patients and caregivers helped dedicate the refurbished 1,700 square-foot space at a ceremony Feb. 4.
“What was once an undefined area at City of Hope has transitioned into a beautiful and functional working area that is welcoming to our new patients and their family members,” said Terry Closson, director of patient access. “We want our patients to feel comfortable here, like they would in a friend’s home.”
The New Patient Services staff moved from two small offices with little space into a much larger area bathed in warm colors. Patients and family members can now gather in offices equipped to suit their needs.
“The New Patient Services staff sees an average of 600 new patients per month, so they needed to have a more accommodating space,” said Claudia Cardenas, new patient specialist. “We are getting great feedback from our patients.”
Closson noted the construction process presented challenges for staff members and volunteers manning the guest services desk — the initial welcoming point for new patients and visitors. Construction required the desk be moved to a more exposed location near the front of the building.
“I can’t thank the team enough,” said Closson. “Both staff and volunteers showed true professionalism and dedication to our patients in their efforts during some very cold and rainy days.”
Cyrus Toosky, project manager in facilities development, oversaw the construction. He expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
“The improved space makes patient flow and patient scheduling more effective,” he said. “And, it now looks like a comfortable living space.”
The New Patient Services staff began seeing patients in the renovated area on Feb. 7.