Whether we are ready to accept it or not, healthcare delivery and access continues to evolve globally. Designers must remain flexible and adaptable to these changes by staying informed with current trends to best improve the health and wellness of individuals through healing design solutions. Healthcare Facilities Today recently spoke with Rolando Conesa, AIA, NCARB Regional Design Leader at NELSON Worldwide on how designers can rely on evidence-based design trends to help cultivate patient-centric facilities.
HFT: What role does evidence-based design play in your approach to creating patient-centered healthcare spaces, and how do you stay updated on the latest research in this field?
Rolando Conesa: Evidence-based design is the norm in today’s healthcare design industry. NELSON implements a variety of technologies and platforms that inform our designers with the latest META trends, technology, and care models. This keeps our teams updated of what the current thinking and hot bed issues are, which inform design and create innovation in solving complex design challenges.
HFT: How do you balance patient-centered design with the need for cost-effective solutions in healthcare facility projects?
Conesa: Working closely with a construction entity from the initial design meetings helps keep track of how budgetary limitations are being met. As a “project delivery group”, which includes administrative, clinical, facilities, and patients/users of the project, we evaluate costs at schematic design, design development, and construction documents. Together, we prioritize elements posing challenges to the budget, which could range from materials and fabrics to lighting fixtures, and make educated and consensus-driven decisions that meet the budget goals while not compromising quality or patient care.
HFT: How do you address the challenge of designing healthcare facilities that are adaptable to evolving healthcare practices and technologies?
Conesa: In keeping up with latest trends and technological advances, as well as the reality of world events such as pandemic and mass casualty events, our design team works closely to provide flexible areas that can be converted quickly into temporary treatment to respond to catastrophic events. We also bake into our designs extra infrastructure and project systems, as well as additional capacity to be able to take on potential future technologies, equipment updates, or nuanced care strategies within the designed spaces. Rooms don’t need to get bigger; technologies and procedures are much more sophisticated today, so what is most important is ensuring facilities are equipped with the capacity to take on future advancements.
Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of the facilities market.