What happens when health care meets Walt Disney World? A themed hospital, of course.
Slated for completion in October 2002, the Florida Hospital Waterman just beyond the gates of Walt Disney World in Tavares, Fla., incorporates a thematic play based on the seven days of creation from the Book of Genesis.
"We themed the project so that every unit of the hospital reflected something of the story, so people will be challenged to explore the meaning of each," says John Castorina, vice president of health care for Baltimore-based A/E RTKL, architect for the project. "For example, over the entire main atrium of the hospital is a tensioned-membrane roof system. When light passes through the fabric roof it is diffused, which is meant to reflect the first day of creation: when God created light."
Although the concept may seem outrageous to some, Castorina says the hospital an extreme example of where the health-care industry has been heading over the past decade: toward attracting and retaining potential patients. Besides its religious theme, the facility will also incorporate a concierge to greet and cater to visitors as well as a wealth of activities and amenities to entertain visitors while they wait, including Internet workstations, interactive games such as checkers and chess, a coffee stand, a library and rocker and lounge chairs throughout the building.
"Instead of being sent down to wait in a dingy, stale, little waiting room and being afraid to go to the bathroom because they'll miss their call," concludes Castorina, "patients will be given a light pager-commonly used in some restaurants today-and are free to walk around and enjoy the various activities."