MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital

The MetroHealth System in Cleveland set out to consolidate behavioral health services on its Cleveland Heights, Ohio, campus. It engaged the design-build team of architect Hasenstab Architects (Cleveland), general contractor The Albert M. Higley Company (Cleveland), and developer Anchor Health Properties (Charlottesville, Va.).

The team designed and built a 79,200-square-foot behavioral health hospital that accommodates five patient units and 100 patient beds.

The new hospital includes adult, geriatric, and adolescent units for behavioral health and addiction care with appropriate on-unit treatment and program space. This includes a shared recreational room and secure exterior courtyard with a half basketball court.

The facility helps to fill a critical community need for psychiatric health services in surrounding areas.

Behavioral health unit design

Each unit includes two group rooms, consult rooms, treatment planning, and quiet rooms. Quiet and noisy social spaces, including a multipurpose dining space, provide areas for patient interaction and recreation.

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

The patient units were designed to provide clear sight lines for patient and staff safety, as well as numerous opportunities for therapeutic interaction. Curved nurses’ stations allow for enhanced visibility of the patient wing and social and dining areas. The open workstations feature a taller, deeper profile to maintain safety and security for staff while promoting patient interaction.

The overall design allows for flexibility in managing patient security and circulation, while creating a calm and healing environment which is paramount to behavioral health facilities. 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.

(To read about the new MetroHealth Glick Center and its transformation of the organization’s main campus, go here.)

Interior design to support mental health

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 soft teal and deep blue accent colors and nature-inspired artwork and imagery depicting meadow and forest themes.

These interior design elements served a dual purpose by creating an environment that supports wellness and enhances wayfinding and branding. Specific colors and nature symbols are used at unit, group area, and patient room entries to differentiate those spaces versus staff areas.

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

One of the major project goals was to incorporate opportunities for patient choice into the design. Within the observable open treatment space, smaller, private social areas are carved out 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. The ability to choose gives patients autonomy and supports overall wellness.

Additional hospital renovations

Additionally, this project included renovations to approximately 21,219 square feet of space in the existing facility. The renovations added a 12-bed combined psych-med and psych intensive care unit (ICU), an outpatient partial hospitalization program/intensive outpatient program, and appropriate clinical support space.

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

The project also created a psychiatric admissions and intake area adjacent to the emergency department.

Project details for MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital:

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)

Architecture firm: Hasenstab Architects Inc.

Interior design: Hasenstab Architects Inc.

Construction Manager: The Albert M. Higley Co.

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

Developer: Anchor Health Properties