Healthcare environments are extremely difficult to manage. Facilities managers are not only dealing with unanticipated levels of demand and diverse types of need, but they are also dealing with mixed settings. An MRI room is impossible to utilize for anything other than what it was designed for; however, a general treatment room can be anything from a triage station to a location for ultrasounds, inoculations, and other procedures. The sheer number of variables at play makes healthcare space design a difficult but vital undertaking.
How can space planners account for the many uncontrollable variables that exist in a hospital while designing agile, accessible, and available space? It necessitates a large number of resources, including healthcare space planning software and quality shop fitting equipment. Putting the puzzle pieces together in a facility that satisfies the needs of the local community is a full-time, ever-changing task.
What is the purpose of healthcare facility space planning? To guarantee that every patient has access to the medical treatment they require, at the time they require it, and that medical personnel can provide that care with as few physical barriers as possible.
What does healthcare space planning entail?
Space planning is the process of repurposing space to fulfill the demands of those who use it. It entails space planners assigning space to treat patients and optimizing that area so that physicians can provide treatment.
Consider the oncology wing of a hospital. How much of the wing should be dedicated to testing facilities? How much does chemotherapy cost? What proportion of area should be dedicated to waiting rooms for family and caregivers? Hospitals must plan for these demands when arranging space. As a result, they guarantee that proper facilities are always available to those in need.
Space planning happens at the macro level in healthcare institutions as well. For example, locating the radiography department near the orthopedic wing might help to strengthen the interaction between these two business groups. This also affects patient and physician navigability. The less distance that must be traveled between related parts of the hospital, the better.
HIPAA compliance and safety are also factors in space planning. It ultimately comes down to managing traffic flow and establishing access points between critical regions.
Advantages of Healthcare Space Planning
Bringing healthcare institutions together via careful space planning provides several benefits to both patients and clinicians. On a practical level, one can say space planners have done a good if the facility looks like this:
- Improved availability of facilities to satisfy patients’ requirements
- Patients, families, and healthcare professionals will find it easier to navigate.
- Operations that move at a faster pace and benefit from a more simplified layout
- Physicians have access to facilities that allow them to provide better patient care.
- Improved safety, security, and privacy in well-planned environments
- Fewer facility overlaps and disruptions guarantee easier encounters.
- Healthcare facilities are more easily accessible because to efficient space planning. Patients and visitors will know exactly where to go to locate what they’re searching for, and those who rely on the facilities will receive the treatment they want from a setting designed just for them.
Healthcare space planning makes it easier for facility managers to utilize space from an administrative aspect. Because hospitals and other healthcare facilities are limited in size, it is critical to make the greatest use of shop fitting equipment as well as available space. Planning drives execution, providing managers with the foundation they need to administer facilities depending on demand.
How might healthcare space planning software assist you?
Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, with a constant ebb and flow of need and demand. Real-time space planning software gives the tools and resources needed to meet these shifting levels of demand. It provides facility managers with spatial insights that lead to improved decision-making and, ultimately, a higher level of patient care.
There are two types of space planning: proactive and reactive. Recognizing demand for space and adapting facilities is what proactive planning entails. If the hematology department is congested, it may be necessary to take over the phlebotomy lab next door and transfer phlebotomy to a bedside practice. It is about assessing facility operational demands and balancing space correctly.
Reactive space planning is concerned with continuing to fulfill continuous demand for space. If the hospital outsources more pathology to an off-site lab, the pathology department may be transformed into a new dialysis department in order to better accommodate the rising number of patients who require this therapy.
Space planning software allows for both proactive and reactive space planning. It may be used by facility managers to test new floor layouts, evaluate space allocation, and contextualize space depending on how it is used. Best of all, software allows for more responsive space planning in increasingly dynamic healthcare situations.
Allow for the best possible patient care.
Healthcare facilities that are well-planned and agile have a cascading impact. Treatment and diagnostic wait times will be reduced. Patients and their families will experience less stress as they explore facilities. Safety, accessibility, and HIPAA compliance have all been improved. Everything stems from how facility managers source the right shop fitting equipment arrange and purpose space, as well as the governance connected with such areas.
As healthcare demand grows and hospitals become more dynamic and nimbler, additional options for space planning emerge. Some sectors of healthcare facilities are still defined by one space and one function, but for all others, there are several alternatives to suit patient demand. The route forward for the future of healthcare is to plan for dynamic, multi functional settings.