In recent years there has been a decrease in total percentage of healthcare investment for facility construction and design and a shift to information technology investments incentivized by the Affordable Care Act.
In spite of this, the total dollars spent on design and construction will still rise in the coming years. And one of the greatest challenges healthcare will face is integrating medical technology.
According to a recent article in Healthcare Design:
“It takes a ton of advance planning and crystal-ball gazing to make sure a building is prepared not only for current tech needs but also for most-likely scenarios in the future. The more the design world can intelligently advise and guide the creation (or modification) of space to accommodate it all, the better off everyone will be.”
In the article Carl Fleming, principal advisor at healthcare IT consulting firm Impact Advisors says “‘Facilities designed and built in the next decade must combine efficient design with innovative and emerging technologies, to create an environment that enhances the way patients experience and engage a new building while accelerating employee productivity, increasing revenue, and providing a safe environment.'”
In a follow up article Fleming notes “‘The technology implemented in today’s healthcare environments is no longer a conglomeration of disparate systems but rather a complex mesh of integrated solutions, each providing data to the others. The building systems talk to tracking systems that communicate with nurse call systems that are integrated to the EMR and interactive patient systems. All of this technology requires a lot of infrastructure and large technology rooms to contain it.'”
Like similar trends in education and general office design, modularity and mobility are critical. Each healthcare facility is unique and will have its own workflow that will change over time along with new technologies. Adaptable spaces and furnishings are an absolute requirement in today’s changing healthcare environments.
Nemschoff’s Terra series of casegoods consists of TV cabinets, nurse servers, privacy screens, wardrobes, and benches. They provide adjustability, personal control, and space efficiency to respond to the needs of patients, families, and caregivers. A unique adjustable screen even allows patients to control their levels of privacy or socialization with other patients during treatment.
National Confide modular lounge seating
Modular waiting area seating like National's Confide allow flexibility and adaptability as your seating needs change. Confide is an excellent option for reconfigurability.
Journey mobile workstations from ESI
Mobile workstations like Journey from ESI with their array of configuration options are very useful.
Planning to adapt to future information technologies and listening to a facilities end users (nurses and patients) are key to successful healthcare design. Mason, Inc. can help specify modular, flexible, and adaptable options that will make managing technological change easier.