Design & health: Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital’s Urgent Care

The facility is filled with new forms of advanced medical technology

On the corner of 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls sits the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital’s Urgent Care Unit. At first glance, though, the angular glass building may look more like a modern art museum than a healthcare facility.

And that’s the idea.

The unit’s chief executive officer, Dr. Blake Curd, says the building was designed with a purpose in mind. From the wrap-around windows to the architectural elements made to resemble a heart monitor, Sioux Falls Urgent Care was built to be different when it opened late last fall.

“People are used to a certain type of architecture in this part of the country,” said Dr. Curd. “We wanted something that stood out from the norm in terms of hospital concepts.”

The facility, which combines urgent care with occupational medicine, is filled with new forms of advanced medical technology, something Curd says makes it noteworthy for the area.

“Modernism and tech were very important to us when designing the building,” he said. “You see some things common in technology reflected in healthcare. We wanted to wrap that idea of new technology around an extremely functional and inviting environment.”

As a combination urgent care and occupational medicine facility, patients can have a variety of needs met when they come through the building’s tall glass doors. Curd says the urgent care designation of the facility means that anyone can walk in without an appointment and be treated for whatever is bothering them, from work injuries to a sore throat. Being an occupational medicine unit as well, pre-employment physicals, drug screenings, and vision testing are common occurrences. Both the urgent care and the occupational medicine units are open on weekends.

Curd says he believes the dual purposes of the building make it especially valuable for employers in the area.

“This is the only facility I know of that combines the two,” he said. “We designed it to flip back and forth depending on the need.”

And patient needs, whether that be a broken toe or hearing test for an employer, are what the facility was designed to cater to.

Too often patients have to go inside urgent care units to get treatment, but with its bright and sleek feel, Curd wants patients to know they aren’t walking into a place full of doom and gloom, but one that was made with their comfort in mind.

“This is one of the only purpose-built buildings for urgent care in the world,” said Curd. “This wasn’t some other building that was converted into what it is now. It’s here for the purpose of caring for people.”

And that purpose is reflected from the moment patients enter the facility.

The reception area is well lit and full of bright colors, and with easy access to charging stations, patients can be productive while they wait.

But the attention to detail doesn’t end when patients exit the waiting area and are shown into a treatment room.

“Patients want to know that care was taken to create the environment that they’re in,” said Curd. “There was a lot of time and energy put into making this building what it is today, and patients then know that a lot of time and energy will be put into taking care of them.”

Curd says that both patients and staff that work at Sioux Falls Urgent Care have responded favorably to the modern building, and there are plans to translate its emphasis on contemporary, technology-based design into new facilities in the area.

“As Sioux Falls continues to expand, we’ll look for new facilities to reflect what we have in this building and customize other endeavors,” said Curd. “It’s a different healthcare experience, and we want our patients to know that from the moment they walk in.”