The way in which we design and build key spaces within healthcare facilities is changing – creating a “nimbler” facility with smaller waiting rooms, fewer exam rooms, and smaller emergency departments. Not only are these spaces conceptualized during design, but additional factors such as natural light, views of nature, and interior finishes are much more important to the overall environment. Beyond the patient, we now equally consider staff resiliency, focusing on providing supporting environments where healthcare staff can “restore between cases.” One-on-one collaboration, group collaboration, and departmental meetings all contribute to supporting this mission.
Another key finding from the report is a trend that we recognize as well: the adaptive reuse of existing spaces has become an increasingly popular strategy for healthcare systems as less capital investment is needed to shift some services away from the hospital. These repurposed spaces often have desired qualities of good visibility, abundant parking, and open floor plates.
Resiliency and disaster received a nod from the Task Force as well, and the findings are equally (if not more) relevant to the Gulf Coast. Historically, hospitals have served as the epicenter where we go in the event of an emergency. We look at how our regional facilities are designed and constructed to serve the community during active hurricane seasons as command centers.