A patient-centered healing environment
From end to end and top to bottom, the Avera Cancer Institute is designed as a patient-centered environment, down to the very last detail. The atmosphere itself conveys what cancer survivors told us they wanted to experience: hope, personal choice, dignity and inspiration, as well as a connection to nature and new life. They wanted to see uplifting colors and images.
Patients and families said they needed quiet places of meditation or prayer. A patient’s spouse told the story of having to go into the bathroom to cry while she was with her husband during cancer treatment, because there was no other private place to go. Quiet respites along the south wall, as well as the Dr. Michael Rost Meditation Room accommodate these needs.
Patients expressed a desire to choose how they receive chemotherapy infusions. While group infusion centers provide a sense of camaraderie, many patients said they wanted the choice of being alone or in the company of others. The majority of the 52 infusion suites are private, and can be made to be semi-private by opening sliding doors. Others are living-room size.
All these options give patients the choice to receive infusions privately, with friends or family or enjoying the company of other patients. A business center, offering Internet access, telephones and fax machines, allows patients or family members to continue working while at the ACI.
Patients expressed a desire to participate in integrative therapies to help them cope with symptoms and side effects of traditional medical treatments. The Avera Cancer Institute offers the region’s largest area dedicated to Integrative Medicine, including massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, movement therapy, nutrition counseling and the “Arts in Healing” program.
As a truly integrated comprehensive center, the Avera Cancer Institute allows patients to see their physician, receive blood tests, undergo diagnostic imaging, take part in integrative therapies and have radiation therapy or chemotherapy – all in one location, with accessible parking and free valet service.
In addition, the Avera Cancer Institute is connected via skywalk to the dedicated inpatient bone marrow transplant and oncology unit in Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.
Avera McKennan emphasizes patient- and family-centered care, and care that is based on forming relationships with patients and their families. Features of the Avera Cancer Institute help staff provide care that truly centers around patients and their families, so that they feel comfortable, at ease and confident in the quality of services they are receiving.
Custom-built for comfort
Infusion suites feature a custom-built chair to enhance patient comfort as well as staff efficiency. Special features of this chair include:
- Built-in heat
- Two headrests to support the head only or entire back
- A foot rest
- Reclining position
- A side table
- Arm supports
- A lift to help nurses more easily reach the patient during care
Produced by Nemschoff, this chair was designed by the staff of the Avera Cancer Institute based on patient input.