Our healthcare system is evolving. That means our facilities need to be able to as well. A great hospital needs a great floor plan, but constructing one that suits your patients’ ever-changing needs can be tricky. Here at The Korte Company, we’ve been part of many hospital construction projects, and we know what it takes to deliver a facility that works for your staff and your patients. When you hire your builder, make sure to follow these eight guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to a smart, flexible hospital that meets patient needs.
1. Do your homework upfront
Whether you’re building from scratch or preparing for a hospital renovation, you must take the time to understand the demographics, needs, wants and goals of a healthcare facility. Look at existing programs and examine what can be improved or added.
2. Outpatient is king, visitors’ experiences matter
A large majority of hospital services are now focused on outpatient treatment, making a patient’s trip an event. This reality needs to be catered to in the design of your building and structure. Outpatient comforts and facilities are just as important as those of inpatients.
3. Interview those who use the hospital daily
Conduct interviews with the executive team, physicians and other staff, and then propose a master plan. Make sure you listen closely to what key staff are saying and investigate all of the departments. Their testimonies are valuable to your builder.
4. Don’t forget the “user”
Have your builder work smart to make patient, staff and visitor flow as easy and efficient as possible. It’s imperative to keep inpatient flow and outpatient flow independent of each other, making medical staff circulation as smooth and discrete as possible.
5. Privacy is a priority
HIPAA. HIPAA. HIPAA. This is a key consideration in hospital building design. Don’t forget it, and don’t let your builder forget it, either. Privacy should be a goal in all of your design plans. It is here at The Korte Company.
6. It’s okay to heal your building in phases
You don’t have to get all the work done at once, and that’s really important to keep in mind. Start by working with a financial consultant, your executive team and your hospital’s board to determine how you pay for it and when. Then, communicate that to your builder. This makes for minimal disruption to existing hospital programs and a more realistic plan of attack.
7. Smooth staffing planning leads to improved workflow
By designating hospital and department locations, you’ll maximize physician and staff flow and usages. This will ensure that your building runs like a well-oiled machine.
8. Constructability and expandability
The future of healthcare is unpredictable, as advancements in technology and treatment processes are always improving. That’s a good thing — provided you prepare for it. Bring in hospital construction professionals now to ensure system designs are buildable, scalable and cost-effective later.
Whether you’re looking for a healing garden or high-tech research lab, we welcome the opportunity to tell you more about hospital design and healthcare construction. Click below to download our guide to managing a healthcare construction project from start to finish.