Displaying items by tag: hospitals

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


I am old enough to remember hospital solariums.  These were outdoor spaces on each wing to afford the patient fresh air and sunshine.  What happened to this idea of opening up the interior to the exterior environment?  We talk about biophilia as if it is a new term.  

As the Pandemic continues, we have learned that air flow is a pertinent factor in the transfer of droplets and virus contagion.  Perhaps we should return to our roots of yesteryear where fresh air was the solution to recovery from disease.  What if the windows at the end of hospital corridors were operable and allowed a breeze to flow through?  What if a patient room had a door out to a walking path on a green roof?  I would be that person who got up each morning to take a walk without the dings or sound of equipment alarms, but simply the sound of chirping birds and the smell of  tea olives.  That would improve my mind and body and I would heal faster.

In life plan communities/senior living environments, the limited walking paths are extremely condensed.  What if we could extend these paths further into outdoor living rooms with pause points for resting.  I would like to see paths wide enough to accommodate physical distancing.  I have a friend who has an incredibly old and tall oak tree in her backyard which has become a family art sculpture.  As her children outgrew shoes, each discarded pair was nailed to the tree, creating a topic of conversation to all who visit and sit in the yard.  This is a tremendous twist to the "Giving Tree" concept.  This would be a wonderful activity for a senior community, ever evolving and changing with time.

I believe that great good will come out of this time of change.  We are just beginning to see how to give patients and residents safe and "natural" settings to recover from disease, surgery, and behavioral complications. Let's make a giant leap into the future and return to what we know to be true:  green is good for what ails us.

Published in Design