Last year’s economic upheavalpresents healthcare designersand institutions with once-in-a-generation opportunities tofundamentally rethink our approach to facility design and operation.Continuing economic uncertainty will necessitate a sustained emphasison doing more with less. As fundingremains tight, healthcare institutions
around the world will continue to face difcult choices about
how to spend limited capital dollars. In many cases, thesedecisions will result in renovation of existing facilities rather than
new construction. Healthcare designers should be prepared toseize the day by developing creative new ways to yield greater
value from our clients’ existing infrastructure.
Technology is one area where designers should be challengingour clients and ourselves. As advances become available at an ever
faster pace, have we lost ourselves in too much technology? Aredifferences in patient outcomes commensurate with associated
technology costs? What has been lost from the practice of medicinein our race to deliver the latest modality? Similarly, should buildings
always have to accommodate technology or is a more rational
and sustainable approach required to design technology to twith the existing infrastructure? Globally, we are programmingour high-tech spaces to accommodate the unforeseen – but atwhat cost, and what benet? Is it time to end supersizing and theneed for unlimited exibility and adaptability?
As we move ahead into a new decade, as designers we should
redouble efforts to work in partnership with our clients toshape a better built healthcare environment – one that not only responds to patient needs but also respects our changing times.
Jocelyn Lum Frederick, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP,principal, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, US
oday’s nancial and economic
worries, healthcare reform
and sustainability efforts,
paired with new technologies andpatient safety issues, are creating a
more competitive playing eld for
the healthcare industry, especially in the context of the private healthcaresystem. Opportunities will emerge in
2010 for collaboration as the worldaligns thoughts of efciency and value.A recent common denominator between the healthcareindustry and the construction industry is quality and processimprovement. Efciency and a focus on risk reduction are evident
in the healthcare industry in efforts to improve patient care and
minimise risk domestically and abroad. Within the constructionindustry, the integrated project delivery (IPD) model has become
the vehicle for improved design and construction processes.
Collaboration between the two efforts takes shape as we fold
statistics and process improvement, inherent in the healthcarespaces, into the design process as part of the IPD, creatingenvironments around process
unique to a culture and specic
to a project.Likewise, the focus on valuein a competitive climate gives
way to collaboration between
industries – and the healthcareand hospitality industries are
an easy t. Hotel chains team
up with hospitals and shareconstruction costs, in closeproximity to, or inside hospitals,
designating entire oorsas post-op patient rooms for elective procedures, beautifully designed and outtted with all the necessary auxiliary spaces.Collaboration among all these entities is necessary to serve an
industry that is highly complicated, loves facts and statistics and
needs to respond to current nancial issues.
Eileen D Trimbach, AIA, LEED AP BD&C, EDAC,DNK Architects, US
Have we lostourselvesin too muchtechnology?
Following a year of global economic upheaval, a new world order is emerging in healthcare design.
Our four experts provide a North American perspective on the drivers of change in 2010
WORLD HEALTH DESIGN www.worldhealthdesign.com