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Care teams share workspace, improve efficiency at cancer center

Adham Jurdi, MD, explains that the reconfigured layout of the Upstate Cancer Center provides for a smoother, more efficient experience for patients and care providers. Jurdi is medical director of adult hematology/oncology at Upstate. (photo by Susan Kahn)

Adham Jurdi, MD, explains that the reconfigured layout of the Upstate Cancer Center provides for a smoother, more efficient experience for patients and care providers. Jurdi is medical director of adult hematology/oncology at Upstate. (photo by Susan Kahn)


Communication is easier, care is more efficient, and medical providers develop stronger bonds through the new layout at the Upstate Cancer Center. That‘s because the members of a patients‘ care team share the same work space.

Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and others including nutritionists, social workers or palliative care experts work in the same “pod,” situated near four or five rooms where patients are examined or receive treatment.

“Everyone that a patient will need to see during their visit is right there,” explains Adham Jurdi, MD, the medical director of adult hematology/oncology at Upstate. Such a design “gives the treating physicians the resources needed at our disposal to address the patients‘ needs much faster.”

This style of team-based medical care has become common at cancer centers throughout the United States, so interior designs built around group work space have become popular ways to ease the way for patients who are fatigued and stressed.

The journal Healthcare Design described the trend in November 2017 this way: “What were once disjointed patient journeys that left many traversing from building to building for lab work, exams, procedures, specialist consultations, pharmacy pickups, and lab work again are being replaced with thoughtful solutions that put all of those stops under one roof.”

In 2018, when the cancer center expanded onto the fourth floor of its building, space devoted to outpatient care for adult cancer patients nearly doubled. Now there are 35 exam rooms and 44 infusion chairs for adults.

And, the fifth floor now houses Upstate‘s clinical pathology lab. Jurdi says, “the goal is to have a more rapid turnaround time for certain lab work.”

Cancer Care magazine winter 2019 coverThis article appears in the winter 2019 issue of Cancer Care magazine.
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