MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital In Ohio

In an effort to consolidate behavioral health services on its Cleveland Heights, Ohio, campus, MetroHealth (Cleveland) sought to build a new 79,200-square-foot behavioral health hospital that accommodates five patient units and 100 patient beds.

The health system engaged the design-build team of Hasenstab Architects (Cleveland; architect and interior designer) and The Albert M. Higley Company (Cleveland; general contractor) and developer Anchor Health Properties (Charlottesville, Va.) to design the facility, which would help fill a critical need for psychiatric health services in the community.

Completed in October 2022, the new hospital includes adult, geriatric, and adolescent units for behavioral health and addiction care. Each unit includes two group rooms, consult rooms, and treatment planning.

Appropriate on-unit treatment and program space, such as a shared recreational room and secure exterior courtyard with a half basketball court, as well as a multipurpose dining space provide areas for patient interaction and recreation.

Interior design strategies to support wellness, wayfinding

A key consideration for the interior design was creating calming, healing environments that would appeal to a variety of patient groups and ages. This was achieved with strategically placed accent colors, including soft teal and deep blue, and nature-inspired artwork and imagery depicting meadow and forest themes.

These elements served a dual purpose by creating an environment that supports wellness, as well as enhancing wayfinding and branding. For example, specific colors and nature symbols are used for each unit, group area, and at patient room entries to differentiate each floor unit as well as patient areas from staff areas.

Materials, such as vinyl sheet flooring and seamless resinous flooring, were chosen not only for patient and staff safety, but also for durability and ease of maintenance.

Universal unit design prioritizes patient choice, flexibility

One of the major project goals was to incorporate opportunities for patient choice, which gives patients autonomy and supports overall wellness. The open treatment space features smaller, private social areas to provide patients with a choice in where and with whom they socialize all while maintaining clear sight lines and observation from the nurses’ station.

Flexibility was another goal for this facility, using a universal unit design that accommodates a variety of patient types and diagnoses based on current patient populations. The strategy also allows for staff flexibility and the potential to work in different units, when necessary, by creating familiarity with unit setup and layout.

Within the units, curved nurses’ stations are designed to allow for enhanced visibility of the patient wing, social, and dining areas and feature a taller, deeper profile to maintain safety and security for staff while promoting patient interaction. Shared staff support areas between units maximize efficiency and, more importantly, provide the ability for immediate staff reaction for supporting codes and calls for assistance.

Renovations on behavioral health facilities

Additionally, the project included renovations to approximately 21,200 square feet of space in the existing facility. The renovations added a 12-bed combined psych-medical and psych-intensive care unit and an outpatient partial-hospitalization program/intensive outpatient program.

The psych ICU serves as a high-acuity unit for patients requiring specialized care. Added clinical support space includes physician offices, a behavioral health administrative office, resident program support, staff training center, and a staff lounge/support space.

Additionally, a new psychiatric admissions and intake area was added adjacent to the emergency department.

MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital project details

Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Completion date: October 2022

Owner: MetroHealth System

Total building area: 79,200 sq. ft. (addition); 21,219 sq. ft. (renovation)

Total construction cost: $29.8 million (addition, including connector and site development); $3.3 million (renovation work)

Cost/sq. ft.: $377/sq. ft. (addition, including connector and site development); $156/sq. ft. (renovation work)

Architect: Hasenstab Architects Inc.

Interior designer: Hasenstab Architects Inc.

Construction manager: The Albert M. Higley Co.

Engineer: Karpinski Engineering (MEP), Thorson Baker + Associates (structural), Wohlwend Engineering (civil)

Developer: Anchor Health Properties

Project details are provided by the design team and not vetted by Healthcare Design.