The Walk-In Care clinic concept was born by the Sutter Health’s Design and Innovation team.   The overarching goal was to curate a better experience for patients with respect to their needs for typical low-acuity healthcare needs. Mission accomplished! The clinics continue to receive some of the highest patient satisfaction ratings in the Sutter Health system.

There are may factors that lead to the success of this new model, starting with the retail-centric location of the facilities. This increases access to care by conveniently placing clinics in neighborhood complexes where we all shop, eat, etc. High quality compassionate care is offered to the public at large, both in and out of ‘network’.

Working collaboratively with the entire Walk-In Care team, which included Sutter’s Design and Innovation team, MarketOne Builders, and Seats & Stations, Silva Stowell helped create a branded identity.  The retail-centric look and feel sets the stage for a concierge atmosphere that is a refreshing departure from a traditional institutional clinic. This is all while helping to lower the cost of providing care and addressing the concern of an increasing shortage of primary care physicians.

The clinics, typically 1,700-2,300 square feet, create a more intimate, patient-centered experience. Entering the lobby, one is greeted by a friendly receptionist and an inviting beverage bar. Patients are briefly seated in a lounge that was designed to feel more like a living room than a waiting room. The furniture, finishes and décor are supplemented with a tech friendly environment. The space is full of natural light, the warmth of wood in multiple locations, tactile textiles and uplifting color from Art and paint.  This feel extends into the exam rooms with nature images in full wall expanses to ease anxiety and provide a sense of calm.

With the success of this new model, Sutter Health commissioned the Design | Build team to establish design guidelines. The resulting document provides a step-by-step plan, with specifications and requirements, for a franchise-type roll out of the clinics, allowing for faster delivery of the clinics to market. 

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