When Sanford Health set out to open a new regional medical center in the heart of South Dakota, the mission was to construct a state-of-the-art facility centered on the patients and their families that didn’t feel institutional.

Sanford Health worked with Hoefer Wysocki Architects to deliver on that goal, opening the doors of Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center on July 16, 2012.

The 113,600-square-foot medical center features an open architectural design, with large windows in each patient room and warm colors throughout. The 48-bed, three-story building contains comfortable spaces to help “humanize the medical experience,” says Gordon Larson, CEO, Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center. Local artists created unique works to decorate the facility and help enhance the environment. Each piece of art is intended to inspire feelings of calm, comfort, warmth, familiarity, and security.

The new hospital is connected to Sanford Health Aberdeen Clinic, making transitions easy and efficient for staff and patients. For the convenience and privacy of patients, admission occurs in the department of service or at the bedside, and staff can bring services to the patient rather than moving the patient around the building. Patient lifts, proper lighting, and non-skid services put patient safety first.

The building was designed with the nurse server system, providing ready access from outside and inside the patient room. Restocking happens outside, and supplies are right at the bedside, allowing for a quiet experience for the patient and family by keeping extra staff members out of the patient room.

Each patient room is divided into staff work space and a comfortable family space and sleeping accommodations. Guest lounges are available rather than waiting rooms. And families can eat meals with the patient, ordering from a menu, with the meal delivered to the patient room at a time that meets their needs.

One of the biggest challenges faced in designing the Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center was ensuring that it was right-sized for the community and the region, yet tailored to meet specific healthcare needs. The center needed the capacity to provide services for patients of varying age groups or unique medical services without necessarily having separately designated units or departments. Age-adaptable rooms were designed to provide patient care rooms that are comfortable and functional for children as well as adults.

Patients of Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center benefit from being part of an integrated health care system. Sanford Health is headquartered in the Dakotas with locations in 126 communities in eight states. The systemincludes 35 hospitals, 140 clinic locations, and 1,200 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 25,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota.