M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital

EmPATH Unit

Central nurse station with open access to patient areas and color changing lighting.
Group therapy space with technology and reading resources and comfortable furniture.
Alternate view of a group therapy space near patient refreshments.
Quiet seating area with comfortable recliner and soothing wall mural depicting leaves.
View from open seating in the therapy area to the patient refreshment station.

M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital

EmPATH Unit

Edina, Minn.

M Health Fairview worked with BWBR to create Minnesota’s first EmPATH (Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment, and Healing) mental health unit. EmPATH is an innovative approach to emergency mental health care that is designed to guide people safely through a crisis while helping them build coping skills for the future. The unit is designed for acute psychiatric patients to receive assessment and evaluation in a therapeutic and least restrictive setting.

Complementing the emergency department, the new adult EmPATH unit provides a calm and comforting environment, allowing the movement and human interaction that is vital in the first 24 hours of treatment. After a short medical evaluation in the emergency department, patients come to a calming, living room-style open space with comfortable recliners and self-serve refreshment stations. Open nursing stations and unlocked rooms create an atmosphere of trust and allyship with the staff, while the mix of daylighting, views to nature, or appropriate imagery establishes a sense of hope. In addition to providing a conducive environment for treatment, the EmPATH unit provides a gentle and benign setting for the care team to constantly evaluate a patient and discharge them with an appropriate treatment plan.

Size: 8,500 gross sq. ft.

Components: Living room-style open space for patients; consult rooms for staff to meet with patients; four sensory rooms with patient-controlled lighting and music, which creates a safe, private space for patients to regulate their emotions; open nurse stations and staff areas so patients and staff can build trust through transparency

Completion: 2021