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How Facility Design Improves Clinical Performance

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News Release:

R. Wayne Estopinal, president of TEG Architects, discusses how healthcare facility design demonstrates efficiency, productivity gains and financial results.



“Healthcare executives are finally recognizing the negative impacts of antiquated and archaic facilities. They have realized that facility design affect everyday operations, how they provide care, and how they can avoid literally wearing out their staff by inefficient facility designs.”
– R. Wayne Estopinal, President, TEG Architects

What have architects overlooked when designing hospitals?
Some hospitals are simply poorly designed from the start, others have been expanded dozens of times and these expansions do not create efficient spaces.

What architects have overlooked in these scenarios is they do not study the relationships between departments. The understanding of interdepartmental and the intradepartmental relationships is essential to improving efficiency and productivity. Designers must design staff areas, points of care, supply/equipment rooms and consciously separate the front of house public circulation from the back of house.

What factors should be considered when designing a hospital?
First and foremost, the hospital design must take into account the efficiency and productivity of the physicians and clinicians. Designers have to respond optimally to the idea that the manner in which they collaborate with the staff will affect the productivity of the facility for decades to come. They must recognize that the design will affect the hospitals’ bottom line and quality of the workplace environment.

Another factor to consider is Staff to Point of Care Visibility to as many points of care from every staff position throughout the facility. This is a key metric in reducing the overall cost of the facility and dramatically reduces the cost to staff the hospital.
Also the design must have some flexibility, so the departments such as the clinical departments that have a propensity to expand or to be reno-vated, ought to have as open as a floor plan as possible without vertical support, like columns. If possible those expansions prone departments should be on an exterior wall so that the expansion can be horizontal and be cost effective.

What can existing hospitals do to achieve efficiency and productivity gains?
The basic concepts of TEG’s Efficient Design + Productive Care Strategies apply to overall new campus designs as well as renovations. So an existing hospital has the opportunity to take existing departments and incorporate these highly positive design strategies.

We have tested existing spaces that we renovated with all the constraints that a renovation presents and we were still able to achieve about 90 percent of the efficiency and productivity we did in a new construction project.

In hospitals, is interior design as important as the architecture?
The collaboration of interior design and architecture is a very important element to healthcare facilities’ success. The interior design can help to emphasize circulation patterns and help to make people feel at ease so that there is less anxiety.

There are so many aspects of interior design that can be very beneficial to everyone involved in a project, most importantly to the patient and their families. Without good architecture planning, interior design is not successful and vice versa, without good interior design even the best separation of public and staff traffic will not be recognized and will not provide clarity.

TEG Architects is a solution provider at the marcus evans NATIONAL HEALTHCARE CXO SUMMIT FALL 2015 taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 18-20.  Please join us at the event to discuss how our unique planning and design strategies could improve your facility.

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