COVID-19 Fallout: Facilities That Can Flex

By Dan Hounsell
June 9, 2021

Healthcare facilities managers and their peers are beginning to comb through the lessons of COVID-19 pandemic, and managers are taking an especially hard look at facility interior space management and planning, especially for new construction projects.

Hospital systems were stressed as available beds ran dangerously low, and healthcare workers grappled with treating patients and finding a way to control transmission of the highly contagious virus, according to AZ Big Media.

The pandemic revealed the precarious nature of healthcare, and planning for adaptability is one solution to future emergency situations, says the president of a national construction firm. As an example, medical gas can be run into conference rooms where, in an emergency situation, beds can be moved in, he says, adding the company already is looking into developing rooms that have the ability to transform into negative pressure, or isolation, environments.

Having multipurpose spaces also caters to another growing trend: telehealth. Valleywise Health in Maricopa County, Ariz., conducted more than 100,000 telehealth visits since rolling out its service in March 2020. The system is seeing a lot of multipurpose collaboration rooms at Chandler Regional Medical Center with audiovisual setups for providing telehealth care in a private scenario.

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