2019-01-09

Healthcare Design Today

At Studio Design Group Architects, we understand that healthcare design is extremely complex. Master plans must account for the diverse functions of the hospital, as well as the human needs of the patients and their families. Past facility designs have proven to be inefficient, unsafe, and stifling to technological growth, which has led to a current health care building boom. The Joint Commissions Resources organization currently states that the United States is projected to experience a “$180 billion dollar investment in new hospital construction in the next five years” (Planning, Design, and Construction of Health Care Facilities, second edition).

Healthcare facilities on the Central Coast are already reaping the benefits of this investment. Architects in San Luis Obispo must build upon a foundation of guiding principles in their healthcare design in order to meet the multifunctional needs of hospitals.

1. Operational Efficiency

Staff and patient efficiency should be exhibited by minimizing travel times in highly used spaces, avoiding traffic, as well ensuring that routes for outpatients and visitors are simple and direct. Patients and visitors should be separated from industrial areas, and outflow of waste must not be visible.

2. Cleanliness

Cleaning hospital spaces must be easy. It is useful to avoid designs without crevices and other small places that welcome dirt, as well as choosing materials and finishes that are appropriate for industrial-strength sanitizers.

3. Healing Environment

Therapeutic spaces are essential for the wellbeing of patients and visitors. Windows that allow for plenty of natural lighting and outside views can bring calmness to a room, and open floor plans with lots of greenery are far more comforting than dividing walls.

4. Changing Technology

Architects in San Luis Obispo must also take into consideration rapidly changing technology in healthcare design. Medical needs and treatments are constantly shifting, so using modular layout concepts that allow for growth and expansion are far more useful than highly specific ones.

5. Safety and Security

Hospitals also have various safety concerns. They must protect patients from viruses and infection, maintain hospital assets such as drugs, and avoid terrorism and violence. Architects must keep these things in mind when shaping a public healthcare space.

6. Sustainability

Sustainability should be at the forefront of every healthcare design here in San Luis Obispo. As massive public buildings, hospitals heavily consume resources and create tons of waste that must be appropriately and efficiently disposed.

With the current expansion of the French Hospital Medical Center’s emergency department, as well as the renovation of the entry vestibule, lobby, and healing gardens, Studio Design Group Architects have utilized multifunctional healthcare design in order to promote longstanding, sustainable relationships between these physical environments and the physicians, patients, and families. Interested in learning more about our healthcare design work? Reach out to one of our healthcare design experts today at (805) 541-3848.

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