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A "tailored" ward: the new Pediatric Orthopaedic Ward at Rizzoli in Bologna

14 June 2010
Photo: The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pediatric Orthopaedic Ward

Rooms are named frog and penguin, butterfly and rabbit, lizard and dog … each bed is named after an animal, so even the youngest, who do not know how to read can identify their place. A living room has been furnished for parents and each room has a chair-bed so that they can sleep next to their child. A red steering wheel jots out of the corridor wall: inserted in an equipped panel containing games and books, there are other games available in the playroom and classroom.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pediatric Orthopaedic Ward at RizzoliA completely renovated ward, also new in its design, hospitalizes more than 2000 children per year coming from all over Italy (69% from other Regions) because the structure is a national referral center for complex cases in pediatric musculoskeletal system pathologies where surgery has increased 100% in the last ten years.
Refurbishing the wards cost over a million euros and is aimed at the best possible reception for young patients and parents who accompany them during such a delicate period as a hospital stay, which in most cases, at Rizzoli coincides with surgery or with limited mobility.
“Those who work with children know well that by distracting them, playing with them and having a emotional and empathic relationship helps cure them, this is the reason why the new pediatric ward was conceived as “tailored” – explains Giovanni Baldi, the Rizzoli Executive Officer, who together with the Scientific Director Francesco Antonio Manzoli, the President of the Social and Healthcare Territorial Conference (Conferenza Territoriale Sociale e Sanitaria) and the Chancellor to Healthcare of the Bologna Province Giuliano Barigazzi today inaugurated the new ward. – Together with technical and hospital office staff, physicians and nurses of the ward directed by Onofrio Donzelli worked on the renovation as they daily touch with hand the adequacy of the enviroment, as did the Malvestio group, specialized providers for hospital furnishings and the LudoVico firm that with the support of pedagogues furnished playrooms. Understanding together how to improve reception, verifying different healthcare and play needs according to patient age and pathology was the first step in the project. The final result is a “tailored” space for the child, which avoids isolation and the fright of being in a hospital and at the same time guarantees family intimacy and efficient treatment.”

This balance “inside / outside” is a red thread in the design details of the new ward: the drawings of the 31 animals which correspond to the beds are also placed in the corridors, small mascots for the children who in this way can have visible and emotional standpoints in their clinical courses in the ward; the rooms, all equipped with TV and internet connection, instead of curtains have a transparent film covering the panes which protect from the sun but allow view of the park; the ward has various equipped common rooms – a playroom, a classroom, play panels in the corridors, a living room with magazines and a refreshment corner for parents – every bedroom though has a divider allowing privacy, which is important at delicate moments in hospitalization (post surgery, during sleep …), without forgetting that each bed next to it has a chair-bed for the parent.

The Rizzoli Executive Officer, Dr Giovanni Baldi (in the middle), with local authorities The ward is also equipped for infants, some rooms have cradles and changing tables, in the lactarium parents can prepare meals and drinks for the younger patients.

Today at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, together with the Hospital authorities, children hospitalized at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Pediatric Ward were also present (for the 200 days of the works they had been moved to a temporary ward). The ceremony was animated for the children by Biancoconiglio, and CIR Food offered the buffet. Other contributions to the new ward came from Orsini, a specilized child store; the magazines Anna and Amica were kindly offered by the RCS group.

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