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Parking Magazine May 2014 : Page 22

Raising the Bar at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center A WATRY DESIGN, INC. CASE STUDY OWNER Sutter Health ARCHITECT, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER AND PARKING PLANNER With unprecedented access to reviews, empowered customers are rewarding companies that listen and shape services to their needs, and walking away from those who don't. A study published by American Express found that consumers are telling more people about their experiences. On average, customers tell 15 people about their good expe-riences, 24 people about their bad experiences and 56 percent of consumers always share their bad experiences. Keenly aware of how this trend was affecting even healthcare, Sutter Health wanted to carefully con-sider the parking they planned to add in conjunc-tion to the design and con-struction of a new hospital tower at the system's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. Sutter Health realized that parking represents the first line of customer service and that it is vitally important since their customers are often dealing with mobility impairment issues and are distracted because they are concentrating on their own or a loved one’s healthcare issues. Watry Design, Inc. CONTRACTOR Overaa & Co. STATUS Completed 2012 22 Parking | The Magazine of Parking Management & Operations | May 2014

Raising The Bar At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

A study published by American Express found that consumers are telling more people about their experiences. On average, customers tell 15 people about their good experiences, 24 people about their bad experiences and 56 percent of consumers always share their bad experiences.

Keenly aware of how this trend was affecting even healthcare, Sutter Health wanted to carefully consider the parking they planned to add in conjunction to the design and construction of a new hospital tower at the system's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif.

Sutter Health realized that parking represents the first line of customer service and that it is vitally important since their customers are often dealing with mobility impairment issues and are distracted because they are concentrating on their own or a loved one’s healthcare issues.

Changes in Hospital Design Trends Means Calculating Parking Needs Differently

The new type of hospital design that resulted from the 2005–2008 construction boom changed how hospital parking demand is calculated. The new design is not as efficient in terms of beds/square footage and therefore the calculation of parking stalls per square foot is no longer a reliable measurement.

In addition, the significant shift from inpatient care to outpatient care produces a much higher turnover rate, and therefore a higher parking demand than the traditional inpatient model.

Analyze How Parking is Currently Being Used

Medical center parking must now be calculated through a detailed analysis of how the parking is currently used. Tracking this data and consistently collecting parking counts taken at different times and days helps to expose the unique parking trends at a medical center.

Prior to the Environmental Impact Report, Sutter Health had this type of parking study conducted for both onand off-street parking and calculated the demand that would be generated by the new development.

Discovering there would still be a shortfall after adding their planned parking structure, Sutter Health implemented a Traffic Demand Management plan to reduce single vehicle trips by 10 percent.

Parking Location Contributes to Customer Satisfaction

Parking for patients and visitors should be located nearest to the entrance. Special care should be taken for highly sensitive patient subsets, such as those who are accessing specialized cancer treatment or dialysis.

Additionally, more accessible parking spaces may be needed than are required by code. These spaces should be distributed at each entrance to the facility. Parking for medical staff and employees is also needed and certain subsets may also need preferred parking.

Safety at the Heart of Design

By having the design team and hospital personnel work in tandem to determine how the parking was distributed, great care was taken to create safe pedestrian paths on this urban campus.

The design team created a pedestrian spine between the new hospital tower and the parking structure, as well as an ADAcompliant path through the parking area to an adjacent bus stop. This path utilizes the parking structure’s elevator to make the transition down a hill.

Proper Wayfinding is as Important as Spaces

After providing the correct amount of parking and designating it appropriately, it is important to provide the right wayfinding signage to easily direct people to the parking, as Well as guide them on how to enter the building.

As there are often multiple building entrances, it is important to link the parking resources to the entrances when entering and exiting.

Great care was taken to ensure that the signage in new and existing parking structures at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, as well as the surrounding pedestrian paths, followed these best practices.

With unprecedented access to reviews, empowered customers are rewarding companies that listen and shape services to their needs, and walking away from those who don't.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Raising+The+Bar+At+Alta+Bates+Summit+Medical+Center+/1713367/209819/article.html.

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