In this series, Health care Design asks leading healthcare design professionals, firms, and owners to tell us what’s got their attention and share some ideas on the subject.
Mario Sanchez is an associate principal plus global technology solutions leader at CRTKL (Los Angeles). Here, he shares his thoughts on greening technologies and planning for technological innovation upgrades.
- Using data to influence design
Using data analytics, analysts can take information on how patients interact with their own healthcare facilities to renovate facility spaces to improve the patient experience and operations. For example, data upon wait times and workflow can show if a waiting room is inefficient for a specific facility. Then, services or project teams can look at how architectural plans could be modified to address these issues in order to improve patient flow, such as placing more support areas closer to be able to patient treatment rooms in an emergency department or other high-volume patient care area.
By using data analytics, computational design and other data aggregation tools alongside the traditional planning and design architectural methodologies, facilities owners and operators can be confident their new facility or even renovation will be making the particular best use of every square foot and have a quantifiable metric towards their desired outcomes whether these be better throughput, minimizing foot travel, or sustainability goals.
- Greening technology
Many healthcare clients are invested in reducing their particular facilities’ energy consumption in addition to carbon emissions. On typically the technology side, owners can deploy lighting controls down to an individual fixture or perhaps lamp, allowing low-traffic places to be dimmed or maybe minimally lit for reduced energy consumption. With other measures, like daylight harvesting and even LED/Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting, a facility can easily significantly reduce its lighting energy loads. In order for all these systems to be valuable, the robust IT infrastructure must be in place, like low-energy Bluetooth (BLE), Wi-Fi 6, and possibly cloud-based computing platforms to minimize this footprint of a facility’s onsite information center, which is a costly construction and maintenance cost. Centralizing certain computing needs for you to the cloud also helps toward sustainability goals as large cloud info centers are far more energy efficient than most onsite ones.
- Planning for engineering upgrades
Fewer technologies evolve faster than diagnostic together with treatment technology in health care. When designing and additionally building a new facility, it’s important to create spaces that are flexible and located with adjacencies, utilities, not to mention structural support for expansions or future changes. It’s not uncommon for large imaging systems, including MRIs as well as CT scans, to be updated within the timeline of a new project’s style and building phase. Also, flexibility in procurement is usually a key tool within ensuring the latest technology possible. Creating some sort of timeline associated with procurement activities to allow for often the last responsible moment is a common method for maximizing technologies advances during a facility’s style and structure phase.
- Connecting patients and also doctors regardless of location
As hospitals across the country undergo renovations to upgrade their infrastructure and patient experience, one common theme is emerging: fewer individual beds. Health systems are incorporating a lot more outpatient services and finding ways to bring care into the home through technology, which also helps reduce costs and improve the patient experience. Internet of Things (IoT), AI, virtual care, and command centers will enable health systems to bring healthcare to the house, allowing doctors to communicate easily with patients and provide real-time analysis of their conditions. These technologies can enable medical professionals to do more away from the facility while increasing a patient’s interaction with their providers beyond the current episodic occurrence, including ultrasound devices that plug into a phone.
- Design along with AI in mind
Our team is seeing fast adoption of advanced technologies to help doctors analyze patients in new ways. For example, X-ray analytic software can identify a problem before the radiologist even looks at a screening. While the human eye is still important, diagnostic analysis will be enhanced and possibly even replaced by computational analyses plus modeling. This new approach could result in new approaches in order to facility design where patients and physicians interact virtually during the diagnostic phase in addition to rely on in-person interactions during the treatment stages. Treatment areas in facilities may need to increase capacity or extend hours associated with operations to avoid potential case logjams.
Want to share your Top 5? Contact Managing Editor Tracey Walker in tracey. [email protected] com for submission instructions.