“Create smiles whenever possible”: Arthur M. Blank Hospital Is Innovating Healthcare For Children

It’s a building that is impossible to miss when you’re driving into or leaving Atlanta. 

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Arthur M. Blank Hospital is transforming the skyline around the intersection of North Druid Hills and I-85. But when its doors open in fall of 2024, the hospital is set to fill a clear need across the State of Georgia.

VP of Facilities Services Chris Chelette

“In 2008, Children’s had more than a half-million patient visits. Last year, we had more than 1 million patient visits, and this trend shows no sign of stopping,” VP of Facilities Services Chris Chelette told Hypepotamus. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston Hospital near Emory University’s campus had reached capacity, so breaking ground on the $1.5 billion project in 2020 was all about helping Children’s Healthcare “stay at the forefront of pediatric care.”

The Arthur M. Blank Hospital is being intentionally built with Georgia’s youngest patients in mind. From the design of the rooms to the way patient information is collected, innovation is central. So ahead of its launch next year, we wanted to better understand what the future of pediatrics looks like inside of the hospital. Chelette and Chief Information Officer Jeremy Meller told us how the hospital is being built and what families can expect.


What Makes The Hospital Stand Out

From the jump, the team behind the Arthur M. Blank Hospital set out to create a different patient experience. When the hospital opens next year, families can expect larger, brighter, private rooms that allow parents to stay with their children throughout their hospital stay. Multiple screens will be included to help with entertainment for both patients and parents. Each floor is equipped with a washer and dryers, family lounges, play rooms, and kitchenettes. 

The new campus also includes “space for teaching, research and collaboration. The campus itself – which sits on more than 20 acres of greenspace – is designed to promote healing through access to nature and tremendous amounts of natural light in our patient rooms, while also creating efficiency between our outpatient, inpatient, clinical and administrative operations,” Chelette said.

There will also be automated vehicles transporting linens, medications and lab samples. This will “[free] up staff to do what they do best—take care of patients,” according to Meller. He added that “quality outcomes and safety, patient engagement and patient experience, and staff efficiency” are top priorities. The campus’ Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Lab will work on “cutting-edge immune therapies” for patients fighting cancer and other diseases. 


An Eye Towards The Future

Chief Information Officer Jeremy Meller

“A new hospital brings opportunities to integrate technology in more meaningful ways to address our biggest challenges,” Meller told Hypepotamus. “Today most hospitals have thousands of complex medical devices, such as monitors, pumps and vents, which are also computers. Often, these computers don’t talk to the electronic medical record and other systems that our teams use to guide their workflows. We are creating an integrated technology environment where our systems help better help our clinicians, where systems can spot deterioration in condition earlier, and reduce the acuity burden on the patient and the caregiver. Having predictive systems which can bring all of the information together is dependent on everything being integrated.”

But the hospital has an eye towards the future. Chelette said the state-of-the-art facility will help Children’s recruit “top surgeons, researchers and doctors who will focus on developing cures for a variety of childhood illnesses.” 

What’s clear is that the hospital’s intentional design is ushering in a new era for pediatric care.

“We can’t lose sight of the need to create smiles whenever possible, so from a design standpoint, we have to lean into what creates an appropriate amount of energy, excitement and hope for our patients,” said Chelette.


Photos provided by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta