Future Facilities: Focus on Flexibility

By Dan Hounsell
May 21, 2021

Healthcare system executives like few events more than building new facilities, which represent growth and prosperity. These days, however, every aspect of facilities — especially new construction — has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, executives and managers are exploring the impact of the pandemic on buildings of the future.

So before they can even think about new construction of healthcare facilities, other questions need to be answered, according to D Magazine — specifically: What does the future of healthcare delivery look like from a system’s perspective? What will the new needs be, and how might they impact the facilities that will be built? What evolving or adaptive functionalities will be required, and how will those influence design?

Consider the possible alternatives to new construction, such as reallocating and repurposing space. One healthcare executive sees the industry turning toward smaller projects and renovation projects over greenfield builds or expansions, at least in the short term. Also, the pandemic has driven home how necessary it is to be flexible, so many systems are likely to make changes to the traditional hospital setup so they can shift, shrink, and expand spaces as caseload shifts occur.

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