Accelerating the Design Process for Cancer Treatment Centers

Linear accelerators used to treat patients with cancer are incredibly intricate machines, requiring not only adequate space for the equipment itself, but also highly specialized vaults for their operation. Inherent to the size and complexity of the technology, full replacement of a linear accelerator or the addition of a new vault constitutes a formidable undertaking for any hospital. Suspending operations risks interruption of patient treatment: with potential negative long-term effects for both patient outcomes as well as hospital patient volumes.

In designing and implementing these high-stakes renovations, many design parameters are similar across each specific case: highly complex machinery which produces intense radiation and requires substantial coordination, staff considerations for LEAN workflow and managing heavy equipment, and perhaps most importantly patient comfort.

Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) in Vermont was acutely aware of these concerns when they chose Lavallee Brensinger Architects to lead the renovation to their vault for a full replacement of the existing linear accelerator. The goals of the project, as mandated by RRMC, were to: develop a cost effective plan to replace the existing linear accelerator, maintain current patient volumes, prevent impact to treatment schedules, enhance the patient’s experience, and address staff concerns about work flow efficiencies and material management.