In this series, Sanitary Conception asks leading healthcare professionals, companies and owners to tell us what caught their attention and to share some ideas on the subject.
Shawn Janus, the national director of health services for Necklaces real estate services company (Chicago), shares his thoughts on how health care is changing because of COVID-19 and how flexibility, air quality, technology and supply chain play a role.
- Lens of the pandemic
Health care, like everything else, is influenced by the pandemic. The traditional concepts of health facilities are being re-examined through a new lens – social distance, personal protective equipment (PPE), storage, space use, ventilation – the list seems endless. They also looked at the design of facilities, including entrances and exits into facilities, to create less invasive visits for patients concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 and other diseases by increasing the flow of traffic from the entrance, waiting rooms. to exit. In addition, the space supporting administrative functions is being redesigned with the recent boom in telecare services by using mobile check-in services decreasing the need for lobby space in structures and searching in the off-site office for telecare workers.
Providers cannot be allowed to build structures that anticipate any possible disruption. Rather they need to think about design solutions that allow flexibility to deal with fluid, changing dynamics. The ability to isolate rooms / floors / wings, redesign separate entrances for infected individuals, and convert rooms from single occupancy to double occupancy are just some of the options considered and implemented. Using prefabricated modular construction as a low-cost alternative to deal with source scenarios is another example. The goal is to develop flexible schemes that can minimize exposure, prevent DPI shortages, and address the fluidity of a rapidly changing environment.
- Air quality
The incorporation of accessible outdoor spaces had been a trend before COVID-19, and this trend was accelerated only by the pandemic. Courtyards, curated gardens and roof terraces have been incorporated into many design elements. The priority of these green spaces addresses social distancing and provides a safe way to help mitigate viral spread. In the indoor environment, ventilation systems have been designed with advanced filtration systems, which also monitor the air flow in specific areas, giving the ability to minimize the risk of infection.
Telecare platforms have been around for quite some time, however the differences in reimbursement between in-person and telehealth visits were an impediment to widespread adoption. When reimbursement guidelines were temporarily altered during the pandemic, allowing telecare to be reimbursed at in-person levels, the use of telecare is increased. It remains to be seen what the post-pandemic repercussions will be, but it is expected that teleasalute will continue to play a more important role. Virtual appointment also influences the conception of the physical environment. For example, allowing patients to check in virtually can give a decrease in the size of waiting rooms. Facilities could also be designed with an external entrance to the examination rooms, which could influence the size of the lobbies and corridors.
- Supply store
The pandemic has also highlighted the need for healthcare organizations to support supply chains, from product inventory to transaction management. On the product side, 3D printing is evolving as an alternative to expand the supply of PPE, which can help compensate for potential shortages and serve as an alternative production method. To address archiving, prefabricated modular construction units, which are less labor-intensive and less expensive to build, can also be used for storage capacity, allowing suppliers to inventory their own products.
Want to share your Top 5? Contact Administrator Editor Tracey Walker at [email protected] for submission instructions.