Displaying items by tag: Future of hospitals

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 19:11

A Tumultuous Time


I am glad that 2020 is behind us and we can look forward to Covid resolution in 2021.  As I examine the toll the virus has taken on hospitals, I realize that many fiscal as well as physical changes are necessary moving forward.  I believe that future hospital design will feature a dynamic tension between infection prevention and flexibility.  Hospital bed counts for overnight stays will be the sole purpose of the main hospital building for the foreseeable future.  We will protect our vulnerable populations by further isolating care for seniors, heart patients, diabetics, emergency patients and children.  We have already seen this movement towards free-standing specialty clinics and this concept will continue to grow.  We call it the "hub and spoke" model.  The hub being the main hospital with the spokes formed with individual specialty services.

As planners and designers, we will become proficient in the needs for each population and assist owners in rebranding these facilities.  We will select materials not only based on durability, but also review the finish or fabric's ability to stop the growth of microbes.  Careful considersation as to the properties of materials will require research and a proven track record for success.  Healthcare organizations will depend on our knowledge and foresight to recommend the best possible design selections for the budget.  These organizations are in a critical balance between addressing the need for separating patient populations, making the most of outpatient options, and in the end, making money to offset the costs of the pandemic.  Historically, outpatient business has been a lucrative venture for healthcare owners.  This will be even more important in the coming years.

Our expertise in planning and our experience in mitigating the transfer of infection through our designs will be paramount to our clients. We have never seen such importance placed on our knowledge as we perceive it now..  Take the baton and be sensitive to revamping the delivery of healthcare.  Architects, designers and engineers need to understand that we are shaping the future of healthcare with careful consideration to patient groups. It is a tumultuous time in healthcare, but perhaps a positive leap forward in the evolution of healthcare design.

Published in Healthcare
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:05

From Crucible to Phoenix

The hospital that we knew in 2019 is no longer there.  Hospitals are in a crucial state of being remolded.  I believe that the phoenix that will result is a hybrid model of care, highly specialized, with nothing but positive attributes for patients.

Everything we knew to be true about the healthcare experience has transformed into a environment of cost containment and competitive care.  Just using PPE purchasing as an example, we no longer tolerate price gauging and shortages.  Communities have chipped in and taken up the mantle of what needs to be provided to insure hospitals have the products they need.  We have re-invented resourcefulness and have leaped years into the future of telemedicine success.  We are now at ease with electronic interactions with physicians and nurses.  All age groups have embraced the speed at which we can talk to our physicians through electronic interface.  It saves time and money.  

To be sure, there will be much to accomplish with renewed infection control mechanisms.  Air flow and a fresh appreciation of the power of the outdoors has eclipsed inoperable windows of tightly sealed hospitals of yesteryear.  Cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation have taken on new meaning in day to day discussions of the average American in all work environments.  Ultraviolet filtration and overall education of what kills germs is now a household topic of concern.

The key word is efficiency.  What would have taken ten or more years to achieve has happened in seven months of intensity.  I am of the belief that we will be glad the Pandemic sped up the process.  The platform for care in the United States will move forward with less redundancy, separating functions into a retail marketplace of services.  The future will address individual service centers of care, with highly acute recovery centers separate from the "big house" of the hospital proper.  We have already seen free-standing emergency departments, and we will see more of these.  Singular buildings with children's services separate from adult care are already abundant.  Now we will reap the benefits of known infection control measures and plan for specific environments of care for cancer and compromised people.  There will be more sensitivity to specialized care platforms.

We are a great country and we have proven that time and time again.  The phoenix is rising from this crucible of change as it always does here in the United States and the term, "made in America" will be the key to many successes, not just in healthcare.

Published in Illness