Healthcare is an essential aspect of human communities – and it is also a rapidly growing industry. As we advance our understanding of medicine and create new technologies, we demand more spaces for patient care, research, and more. Construction companies that step up to meet this demand need to consider the best practices for building or renovating healthcare and medical spaces.
Sanitation is crucial to the health and safety of the team for any construction project, but there is an added layer of importance for medical construction. Contractors and PMs should work to identify which sanitation standards apply to the project and train the rest of the team to follow these guidelines. For new construction, as the building reaches completion, workers can mark where sanitation devices or stations can be put in place, ensuring they are distributed throughout the building. Any building or cleaning materials that the team uses should also be cleared sanitation-wise throughout the project.
All employees, patients, and guests should feel safe and secure when they visit a hospital, clinic, or lab. Unfortunately, many security breaches can occur with high volumes of people coming in and out, expensive equipment, and medical records. One of the best practices construction teams and designers use to lessen these breaches is by making the building secure access rooms, corridors, and spaces. Construction should also consider where cameras will be placed in relation to rooms and hallways so that there can be as few blind spots as possible (within reason, also considering privacy concerns for camera placements).
Similar to security, all people who come into a medical space should also feel that their privacy is valued. Even though security cameras and surveillance technology are crucial throughout a medical building, there will also be spaces where privacy is important. Privacy is essential when building walls between rooms or labs to ensure that private conversations are not overheard between rooms. The construction team should understand HIPAA principles and integrate these ideas into their design when possible.
Adaptable spaces are becoming the norm in hospitals and clinics. Since overcrowding is a common issue in hospitals, adaptable rooms or furniture within the rooms can be part of the solution. A hallmark example of adaptable furniture in medical settings is seating in waiting rooms that can be converted to a small sleeper sofa for guests staying overnight with their loved ones. Rooms can also be adaptable – think small operating rooms converting to patient rooms or labs converting to telemedicine spaces.
Telemedicine and virtual visits became commonplace at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For convenience, many clinics are still providing virtual options for patients for basic check-ups, follow-up visits, and more. Given the privacy needed for telemedicine, the construction and design teams should think critically about where these meetings can occur and give optimal space and tech for them. As mentioned, certain spaces could be adapted for telemedicine meetings, but some secure space should also be specifically allocated.
Older medical buildings are notorious for being difficult to navigate. And even though lost workers, patients, or guests might not mean any harm, they could walk into areas they shouldn’t be in if they can’t find their way. Hallways should be wide, well-lit, and have as much signage as possible. Some medical buildings will even have color-coded signs, walls, or art to help people walk through.
Anyone who has worked in construction knows the importance of aesthetics, and medical and healthcare facilities are no exception. The days of stark white, dimly lit medical buildings seem to be coming to an end. Most new buildings or renovations focus on having natural light in patient rooms and waiting rooms to keep a calm atmosphere. Color palettes and schemes make the facility feel friendly and safe.
Work With G. S. & S.
Our teams at G. S. & S. are ready to meet all of these considerations and more for your medical/healthcare facility project. Our team members are experts in their field and have proven successful on these projects. Let’s discuss your project, share our past work, and connect today!