One of the Kansas City, Missouri, area's longest-serving hospitals, Saint Luke's Hospital has seen considerable growth and frequent retrofits over the years. Last expanded in 1963, the laboratory needed serious help to keep up with changing technology and new testing techniques. The hospital chose Burns & McDonnell to provide full architecture/engineering services for a significant renovation of its 25,000-square-foot laboratory. The improvements revitalized a space that had grown crowded and inefficient through several expansions. The design team worked closely with lab personnel to understand workflow and functional adjacencies, developing operational requirements for hundreds of pieces of equipment.
Separating laboratory and administrative functions improves lab access and security. The new circulation also allows staff to speed turnaround time for the flow of specimens from the preanalytical to the analytical phase. Lab personnel have unobstructed views from one end of the lab to the other, engendering a more collaborative work environment. A break room provides a new and welcome amenity, since no food or drink is allowed inside the lab.
The laboratory included specimen processing/accessioning, automated core lab, manual chemistry/ hematology, blood bank, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, reference laboratory, laboratory support center, client services, clinical trials/instrument evaluations, point-of-care testing, and an administration and education suite. A phased construction plan was developed to accommodate a three-year funding schedule and the need for the lab to remain operational 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.