Making a Hospital Design Plan for the next pandemic

COVID-19 will eventually pass, but the possibility of other pandemics occurring will always be very real.

On a planet where more and more people move freely and which experiences a rise in temperatures creating more favorable conditions for the transmission of diseases, the frequency of infectious disease outbreaks is increasing.

Greater flexibility in the design of premises and systems would allow, next time, an easier and more efficient transition. Intensive care unit rooms, for example, require next-level capabilities for medical gas supply for patients on ventilators and also for redundant backup power systems. In addition, hospital infrastructures must be able to meet a much greater demand for oxygen.

We all know that planning for a goal is the key to readiness and the same applies when building a hospital. COVID-19 nearly destroyed every country, however, only those who had a good healthcare infrastructure in their country were able to cope up with this deadly pandemic.

Keeping this in view, we are bringing you some tips by Hospital Designers in India that you should consider if you are planning or going to plan a hospital in the near future. Moreover, these suggestions will help the hospital or medical facility better deal with the next pandemic.

1. Reducing the number of patients with a specific focus on telemedicine, and space planning and design.

For example, the parking space can be used to manage people who will enter the building and having single entry and exit point, a worker-controlled point to guide and monitor patients.

2. Isolation of infected patients and how to prepare lobbies, entrances, waiting rooms and reception areas.

The experts recommend having larger lobbies to provide more functionality and more equipment for measuring temperature, distance between patients, and an out-of-touch entrance with hand sanitizers and masks.

Hospital Building Design should be made taking into account the location of a multifunctional room near the place of registration to isolate patients with symptoms of infectious diseases.

3. Improving the institution’s ability to reduce the spread of infection.

A few other planning recommendations can also be considered for clinics, hospital admissions, emergency departments, elevators, materials management rooms and toilets.

First is, there should be a sorting area near the front door. This area will help to separate sick and non-sick patients. One-way movement of patients will ensure that other patients do not cross paths with potentially ill patients entering the building.

For clinics, a “library” model should be adopted that includes communication spaces (such as meeting and group therapy rooms, physiotherapy or staff rest rooms) with access to the building’s main entrance.

During a pandemic, the communication space must be re-equipped and used for separation between protected and unprotected patients.

Planning a hospital building that seeks to fully address all aspects of functioning during a pandemic is a serious project. Therefore, it is important to know intentionally about the decisions that each organization makes when planning a pandemic for each project.

When a response infrastructure is in place, it is possible to design facilities that will support the planned interventions. Health care is a global concern. If we want to keep people safe and save lives, we need to look to the crises that have been experienced to learn from them and inspire them.

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