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Cleveland Clinic’s Planned New Cancer Center Aims to Improve Patient Experience

Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

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Today, the Cleveland Clinic unveiled plans for a big new facility that will bring most of its downtown cancer treatment services under one roof. Ideastream’s Joanna Richards reports.

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An artist's rendering of the building's exterior. Credit: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. and Stantec An artist's rendering of the building's interior. Credit: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. and Stantec

Right now, cancer patients at the Clinic’s downtown campus have to visit multiple offices for treatment. This new $276 million investment will bring all outpatient cancer services under one roof.

Along with eliminating an inconvenient maze of buildings and corridors, the Clinic says the building’s design reflects more sensitivity to the patient experience. For example, lots of natural light should brighten up hallways during dark Cleveland winters.

Those details matter for patients with chronic illnesses, who spend many hours at appointments.But the Clinic realizes medical buildings are still not where they want to spend their time.

“There was a quote I read a few years ago. It was from a cancer patient who said, ‘If I have six months to live, waiting four hours to get chemotherapy is really important to me,’” said Dr. Brian Bolwell, chair of the Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute."You know, a lot of our patients are really sick, and having extended wait times is just not okay.”

The facility also aims to improve treatment itself, with more research space and an eye toward collaboration.

“Simply having physicians from different specialties in one area always generates great dialogue about new ideas, new approaches,” Bolwell said.

The seven-story building will go on a piece of clinic property now mostly vacant, between East 102nd and East 105th streets north of Carnegie Avenue. Groundbreaking is slated for late September, with the goal of completion by early 2017.

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