News Headlines Article

Bigger Hospital Rooms for Bigger Patients
The New York Times

When the revamped Parkland Hospital in Dallas opened recently, each of the 862 single-patient rooms in the sprawling new 17-story tower was ready to accommodate the growing number of obese patients that hospitals across the country increasingly care for.

“We designed with this idea of the universal patient in mind,” said Jim Henry, an associate vice president of the architectural consulting firm HDR, which worked on the new building. “Any patient can go into any room. At this hospital, a patient doesn’t feel, ‘I’m going into a bariatric room.’ ”

“The bariatric population” — typically defined as patients having a body mass index of 40 or higher — “wasn’t an afterthought,” said Kathy Harper, vice president of clinical coordination, new campus construction, at Parkland. “They’re a very special population. We thought a lot about their needs and how to accommodate them.”