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This might be overly specific, but I've been thinking a lot about changes in the healthcare industry. Things like shortened recovery times for minimally invasive surgeries reducing recovery time, demographic changes (Baby boomers aging), Da Vinci robots and other technologies that require different arrangements in the OR...HVAC, new fire standards...etc.
Are health systems pushing into more outpatient/suburban settings to increase profitability? How are current buildings being modified? What does it take to shift the generator equipment from the basement to an upper floor?
Specific? The topics you raised could fill 1000 notebooks. I just read a piece in Fast Company about the changing nature of hospitals; rooms are becoming increasingly single patient rooms, with better views to the patient from nurses stations. LEAN processes are becoming more important in how organizational strategies are constructed, and the positive impact on staff retention. Affordable Care Act is changing patient care and rewarding hospitals that actually cure patients the first time, instead of keeping them in the hospital, and penalizing them for return visits; a carrot and stick. Obesity rates are changing the room sizes, family living arrangements in hospital rooms are being accommodated....etc...etc...etc...
Plenty of established firms are writing white papers about the changing nature of health care.
Yeah, I'm still curious to see how the patient satisfaction aspect plays out. I've definitely seen an emphasis on patient advocates and other people positioned to increase satisfaction in the hospitals near me.
Do you have any links to specific firms that were particularly interesting?
So far I've found:
The AIA's National Youtube channel with videos related to hospital design
Hospital Overview - Whole Building Design Guide - NIBS
Edit: Fast Company - The Best Medicine For Fixing The Modern Hospital
A Review of the Research Literature on Evidence-Based Healthcare Design - white paper series 5/5 - Sept 2008
The most cutting edge proposals I've recently seen focus on healing as unifying theme. That, and tossing all cutting edge environmental technologies and systems into a blender and seeing what comes out.
I did my dissertation on this topic.. generally there is a shift in literature and healthcare "theory" towards healing and away from the modern approach of efficiency. The hospital as a typology was born out of monasteries and then military barrack-type hospitals and was heavily influenced by modernism and the invention of HVAC and electric lighting. The result is the behemoth mega-buildings (with very little natural light and huge long corridors) epitomized by 1980's era hospitals. Unfortunately the code is very stringent (almost blindly so in some instances) and the politics of hospital administration make it difficult to truly re-design the hospital to suit today's approaches to healthcare and technological advances (and cost is always a huge issue), but there are some pretty interesting examples of private hospitals in Europe that are starting to propose some more interesting strategies.