Designer talks about effects of Affordable Care Act

Initiative seen as a wake-up call for facility managers, urging them to become leaders with more responsibility for patient advocacy

By Healthcare Facilities Today
November 25, 2013

Healthcare Design magazine's "Take Five" series asks healthcare design professionals about what's got their attention. The magazine recently talked to Mark Herstein, design manager at Tocci Building Companies in Woburn, Mass. 

Herstein talked about the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on healthcare design and constructing healthier facilities for the future. Herstein's talking points include:

1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

As early as December 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was considered a wake-up call for facility managers, urging them to  become leaders with more responsibility for patient advocacy. 

2. Hospital construction and renovation 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making available $730 million in PPACA grants to assist community health centers in the provision of high-quality care.  These grants will facilitate the expansion and modernization of local hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities in the nation’s most vulnerable communities. 

3. Making sustainability a priority

Energy-efficiency initiatives are some of the actions being taken to reduce the amount of waste generated at medical facilities. But what else can we do? 

4. Reducing HAIs and pollutants

Facility standards should be developed to include initiatives that provide easily cleanable environments, reducing dependency on chemicals that build resistant-strain of bacteria. 

5. Lean implementation

A great deal of Lean implementation and process is driven by organizational culture and involves a shift in thinking to change conventional and existing habits. Areas need to be provided that permit flexible use, enhance development of effective means of communication and collaboration, and foster uniform and consistent practices. 

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