In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety protocols and contagion control have become standard for new hospital projects and renovations, according to Building Design + Construction. In addition, the pandemic has emphasized the need for healthcare facilities to have greater adaptability and spatial flexibility to handle patient surges. Flexible patient care and services such as telehealth have become more in demand, while hospital designers take into consideration touch-free light switches, doors, and other frequently used surfaces to avoid spreading disease.
Healthcare facilities need to be prepared to confront the next pandemic, whether or not the contagion is airborne, and building designers should begin with a risk assessment to evaluate where best to invest resources in dealing with any kind of pathogen. According to Health Facilities Management, healthcare facility planners should consider the following:
- Improving air filtration by using stand-alone air recirculators with HEPA filters or upgrading air handlers
- Streamlining patient flow by creating spaces and corridors that encourage unidirectional movement to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission
- Controlling hospital entryways by having separate waiting areas for patients exhibiting symptoms
- Creating a negative pressure anteroom between positive pressure operating rooms and corridors
- Greater flexibility in patient room design to allow space for more equipment or additional gas outlets
- Using outlying buildings as special pandemic isolation units
With the ongoing pandemic, these considerations should be taken into account in examining infrastructure and identifying new design opportunities for handling future health crises. For more information about healthcare facilities management and building design, please contact Vanguard Resources at (210) 495-1950 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Information from this article was found from https://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/4329-designing-the-post-pandemic-hospital and https://www.bdcnetwork.com/healthcare-design-post-covid-world