Seeking new solutions to improve efficiency and increase quality, Penn Medicine envisioned a new offsite Interventional Support Center (ISC) as a comprehensive facility to support multiple facilities throughout the Philadelphia region. The ISC centralizes sterilization of surgical instruments, sterilization of linens, and storage of surgical supplies and soft goods. The consolidation of services at the ISC will standardize instrument processing, instrument sets, and soft goods across the health system. The ISC will allow storage space for extended inventory of supplies on hand. Case carts will be transported to and from the ISC from various facilities in temperature controlled trucks on a prescribed schedule to facilitate maximum efficiency.

Stantec’s team integrated healthcare planners, architects, designers, engineers, and industrial designers to design the new facility. Solutions were tested and validated using time motion studies and simulation modeling to identify gaps and bottlenecks in the flow.

The facility supports a one-way forward flow of instrument processing starting with arrival of dirty instruments in closed sealed case carts at a soiled loading dock. Case carts are brought through a series of airlocked vestibules to the decontamination area. Instruments are then unloaded from the case carts, processed in a series of clean up sinks and then sent through washer/disinfect to the assembly sterilization area. Once assembled and wrapped, instrument sets are loaded into pass through steam sterilizers or low temperature sterilizers. Sterilized instrument sets are then brought to the sterile storage area to be loaded onto high-density vertical storage units. Instrument sets are then married up with soft goods from Metro wire shelving and assembled in clean case carts. The clean, assembled case carts are staged and queued in an airlocked vestibule adjacent to the clean loading dock where they will be loaded onto trucks to be delivered to their designated locations. The clean loading dock will also receive clean supplies, linens and soft goods. These clean supplies are brought into a breakdown room, broken down and brought through a vestibule to be stored in the sterile storage area. Similarly, linens are sterilized and stored prior to being shipped to each facility.

The facility features N+1 redundancy in all building systems including full facility generator back-up. Air systems include HEPA filtration for all instrument processing and storage spaces. A separate administrative suite includes office space and workstations for employees. Amenities for staff include a break room, conference room, a mother’s room, and male and female locker rooms.

Project category: Remodel/renovation

Chief administrator: Christopher Pastore, managing director, Interventional Support Center, Penn Medicine

Firm: Stantec,

Design team: Stantec(planning, architecture, interior design, MEP/FP engineering, industrial design); Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (project manager); O’Donnell & Naccarato Inc. (structural engineering); Pennoni (civil engineering); Healthcare Building Solutions (medical equipment planning); Conspectus Inc. (specifications)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 109,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not available

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not available

Completed: January 2021