November 9, 2021

Space Planning for Pandemic Resilience

Space Planning for Pandemic Resilience

Posted by CMBA Architects on Nov 9, 2021 8:00:00 AM

In early 2020, as the world shifted to managing the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare providers scrambled to understand how their facilities could safely absorb the surge of infected patients and prevent further illness among other patients and staff. Now that it has been more than a year and a half of living with COVID-19, perhaps it is time to make some fundamental changes.

Early in the pandemic, healthcare providers were rushing to decipher how their facilities could safely absorb the surge of infections and reduce further illness.

Access and Entry

Now that hospitals are capable of testing for COVID-19, it's essential to design new lobbies with enough power, signage, and plenty of waiting space.

One-way flow is also important. Even before COVID-19, it was common to see soiled workrooms with direct access to an elevator, allowing for the disposal of materials without passing through the elevator lobby.

One idea for new design is to separate every elevator shaft to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination, with some elevators designated for clean supplies and others for infected materials and individuals.

Patient Rooms

In the future, best practice could include grouping patient rooms and treatment rooms with staff access into a suite for medications, cleaning supplies, and soiled utility and equipment to treat patients without constant movement in and out of the area.

Designing for Resiliency

Our first recommendation when looking to improve resiliency is to use removable design elements such as couches and wardrobes. This way patient rooms can be stripped down in the event of infectious occupants.

Sinks and PPE cabinets between every room were becoming commonplace in hospitals even before the pandemic. Moving forward, sink alcoves should be large enough to allow for trash containers and provisions for hand drying.

Better Storage Solutions

Most healthcare systems are currently rethinking their reliance due to supply chain issues. This is drawing a lot of attention to vital healthcare storage needs. We think that provisions for the storage of supplies from the loading dock, as well as individual departments, deserve a closer look in preparation for future unforeseen events.

Are you ready to start improving the resiliency of your hospital? Get in touch with the team at CMBA Architects!

Topics: Healthcare