Connecticut Children’s is reinventing the patient and family experience with the grand opening of its new Infusion Center located at 10 Birdseye Rd, Farmington, Connecticut. Opening April 30th, Connecticut Children’s Infusion Center has revolutionized that experience and created an immersive and playful space that balances patient care and entertainment. Through creative physical and innovative digital design features, the feeling of a mystical outdoor adventure has been constructed, inspiring the opportunity for discovery in an otherwise repetitive experience.
“We worked with the care providers and patient families to create a space to promote a change in a patient’s mindset from ‘I’m stuck in here because I’m sick’ to ‘I’m on a journey of healing,” said Karri May, manager of planning, design & construction for Connecticut Children’s.
Connecticut Children’s new infusion center is one of the first in Connecticut and the nation to provide patients with a fully interactive environment, where learning nurtures healing.
- Each visit will be different, whether situated within a camper bay or in a tent bay secretly chatting with neighboring patients through “secret garden”-like passageways, Connecticut Children’s holistic design supports outstanding care within a playful atmosphere.
- Private cabins contain color changing lighting controls and peek-a-boo windows for nurses to perform visual “check-ins” while not being disruptive.
- Waiting room seats are set under a canopy of trees where a rainbow of colors can be seen radiating from a digital tree.
In addition, patient families will experience an interactive technology experience that will allow patients to create their own avatar and explore another world during infusion treatments. The experience, called ‘Wilderverse’, was designed and developed by Dimensional Innovations, an experiential architecture firm.
The technology was designed to appeal to patients of all ages, from young children to teens, with engaging game-like qualities that will hold the patient’s interest for an extended amount of time, and will be unique during each infusion center visit. ‘Wilderverse’ allows patients to easily access a website on a phone or tablet to create a custom avatar that they can send out into a virtual outdoor world that is displayed on multiple, curved digital OLED displays in the center of the treatment area, designed to have a large tree-like feel.
“The customization of the avatars, from color to texture, gives kids a sense of control, during a time when they may feel like they have lost it,” said May. “The added benefit of creating a sense of community through the avatars reminds them that they’re not alone in their treatment process.”
Depending on how the patient is feeling, they can keep their curtain open to see the large displays in the center of the facility, or if they need more privacy, they can still view the experience on the monitor within their room.
The design incorporates nature settings, including a campfire, castle, waterfall, large flower pods, and a ship scene. Patients can choose from three different custom-created avatars (a “gerbit”, fantasy horse, or “treebot”) and customize its features. The more the patient interacts with their avatar, also called a pathfinder, the more accessories become available. Amidst growing pressure on hospitals to create a welcoming and engaging experience for patients and their families, incorporating technology beyond the procedure room and into the entire hospital and treatment experience has benefited patients and hospitals alike.
“Research continues to validate the large role experience design plays in creating healing environments,” said Gil Peri, President and COO. “Connecticut Children’s is reinventing that patient experience and ensuring we do everything we can to create a WOW experience for those children that walk through our doors.”
At Connecticut Children’s infusion therapy is administered to infants, children and adolescents who require intravenous therapy for illnesses such as gastrointestinal disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Crohn’s Disease, generic idiopathic arthritis, infectious diseases, immune deficiencies, and endocrinology disorders to name a few.
About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Women’s Choice as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. With a medical staff of more than 1,000, Connecticut Children’s provides comprehensive, compassionate health care in more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory. Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is a national leader in community-based prevention and wellness programs.