Debbie Gregory, DNP, RN
Senior Clinical Consultant
Co-founder of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD)
Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR)
Debbie Gregory provided her expertise on a collaborative effort aimed at transforming the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, into a 1,600-bed surge facility for COVID-19 patients. The plan was to get the facility up and running within 6-8 weeks after the first team meeting on April 5, just as the number of COVID-19 cases began increasing.
Gregory shared with project team members—who included state officials, administrators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and other health care systems, and construction experts—numerous resources and best practices she had collected when she first learned of a nationwide effort to convert convention centers into field hospitals. Using her nursing and design knowledge, she offered strategies to address staffing needs and workflows, as well as processes related to safety and infection control.
Together the team looked at creating different types of rooms to isolate patients, determining air handling systems, transforming public restrooms into patient and staff restrooms, and identifying where to locate electrical and data sources. Their plan also included how to safely control entries and exits into the facility, as well as designing spaces for workers to change clothes and shower.