Helsinki's brand new children's hospital is a case study in patient-centric design

Come take a photo tour of virtual fish tanks, iPad-controlled lights and so many Moomins.
By Jonah Comstock
12:47 pm
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Helsinki Children’s Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility that serves sick children from all over Finland, opened earlier this year with a price tag of €170 million, replacing an outdated facility from 1948.

The building is a case study in patient-centered design and also includes a number of process innovations and digital technologies (including an iPad in each patient room). Along with a small group of other journalists, MobiHealthNews had the opportunity this fall to tour the facility, guided by HUS Head of Digital and Innovation Services Pekka Lahdenne.

“Before and during the planning period … what we were aiming to produce was high quality and safe medical care, excellent patient experience, and excellent process efficiency,” Lahdenne said. “We are not trying to produce high-quality medical care at any cost. We cannot really be proud of our high-quality results if they are not cost-effective or if they are not producing very good patient experiences. So this triangle was really taken into consideration strongly at every step of the planning process.”

The hospital has a daunting charge. As the flagship pediatric hospital in Finland’s mostly-public healthcare system, they are responsible for the routine care of children in the Helsinki metro area, which encompasses about a third of Finland’s population of 5 million. They are also responsible for many areas of specialty care for children throughout the country.

“We are quite a big children’s hospital because we cover not only this tertiary care, but we also act as a secondary care children’s hospital for the whole Helsinki area and surrounding municipalities,” Lahdenne said. “And that’s why we have almost 150,000 outpatient patients a year, almost 60,000 emergency care and so on.”

Read on for a virtual tour of the hospital.