Scale Mock-Up Aids Hospital Design Planning

Mock up 6
A bed was placed in the mock ER treatment room to provide a better idea of how the space will be utilized.

IU Health Starke Hospital officials are using a life-size cardboard mock-up of their proposed new facility to finalize design plans. President Craig Felty says the blueprint doesn’t do it justice.

“When you see something actually 3-D and real life, it really puts it into perspective. It really helps to solidify what we have in the blueprint but also shows us so much more, that we could actually make it so much better than we thought. On the blueprint it looks good, but it looks so much better when it’s actually all put up together.”

Felty adds it’s much easier to make changes to the layout and design at this stage than it is once actual construction starts. He says a lot of planning has already been done with paper doll mock-ups in a room.

“We measure how far it is from different areas in order to make sure that we get the most efficient movement of the patients and actually what we call the eight flows of healthcare. That’s the patient, that’s the staff, that’s equipment and supplies, everything like that. We measure all that to make sure we’re getting the most efficient building that we can.”

Felty says this week’s tours are a first step in the overall process. A similar setup will be offered next month for the other half of the hospital. Afterward, officials will take all of their plans, put them together and review them a final time before sending them out for bids.

Guided public tours of the mock-up are available Thursday, Aug. 6 from 7:30 until 9:30 a.m. and Friday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. at the former Freeman Products building, which is just north of Culver Road on 300 East in Knox. Felty hopes to finalize the design of the new hospital by the end of the year, break ground in early 2016 and possibly move into the new building by the end of next year. It will be located between the existing hospital and medical office building.