Olathe Medical Center – The Birth Place

Olathe Medical Center Birthplace

Part of Olathe Health, Olathe Medical Center (OMC), provides improved women’s care in Olathe, Kansas. The existing acute care facility advocates the need to stay ahead of the community’s growing needs when it comes to providing quality healthcare.

Designed by HMN Architects (Overland Park, Kansas), the new 109,000-square-foot four-story obstetrics wing opened in May 2017. The new wing will provide a significant expansion for the OB department and allow them to enhance their services with a new level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).   In addition to a new OB and new NICU unit, the expansion offers OMC a new main hospital entrance and a full food service replacement.  This new four-story atrium creates a relaxed atmosphere with a welcoming fireplace and spacious lounge type seating areas.

The primary goal for the new OB unit was to provide new moms and families with a comfortable and soothing experience. The OB patient rooms offer “spa like” bathrooms with jetted tubs.  Couples can enjoy a queen-size Murphy bed in each postpartum room along with other home like amenities.   A unique design feature is an outside balcony and a family lounge on the NICU and postpartum floors, which allow the patients and their visitors to receive outside air without having to leave the unit.

A major enhancement to OMC in this expansion is the level 2 NICU. This floor provides each patient and their families a Single Family Room.  Each Single Family Room provides space for the newborn patient and also gives the family their own private couch/ sleeping area and full bathroom within the same room.  A lounge that resembles a residential type kitchen and living room provides respite areas for staying parents and families.

Another goal of the project was to provide natural light to not only the patients and families but also to the staff. Most patient rooms take advantage of the full glass skin allowing ample light and views.  Light is also borrowed into the corridors by ways of internal glass walls and transom windows which provide light to the nurse stations and staff areas.  The cafeteria has a central glassed in courtyard which allows outside eating but at the same time allows natural light to get into adjacent main corridors and eating areas.

Hospitals offer many design challenges. The biggest challenge facing the design team was patient security. A major concern for hospitals and OB/NICU units is infant abductions. A robust electronic system was put in place along with strategically using the interior floor patterns to demark zones where babies are not allowed. Another design challenge was Olathe Medical Center’s previous culture of having all LDRPs on one floor.  To double the OB unit size, labor and deliveries were assigned to one floor and postpartum was pulled out to create a second OB floor.  This was a huge operational change in delivering patient care for OMC. To assist in this change, Olathe Medical Center and HMN Architects went on a benchmarking trip to visit four other similar facilities. This allowed the hospital staff to ask questions about operations along with how the built environment could improve their overall work flow.

OMC continues to grow and reach other neighboring communities. With this said, the hospital built in plenty of flexibility for future growth.  The building’s structure is designed to allow for three additional floors.  The postpartum and NICU floors have shelled patient rooms which will allow for growth in the future. The labor and delivery floor currently has two state-of-the-art C-Section operating rooms however if the need arises there are accommodations to expand horizontally for a third C-Section.

By creating a hotel-like environment for new mothers and families, Olathe Medical Center has taken a huge stride in attracting new patients and expanded services. The expansion also offers the hospital with a new look and image which will provide them the means to become a true leader in the community.



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