Healthcare Design and the Impact of COVID-19

Some design changes might be temporary, many of these now-makeshift elements will be embedded permanently in designs for the future

December 15, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted healthcare facilities to renovate, upgrade and retrofit a variety of areas and operations with the short-term goal of creating existing facilities that are safer and healthier for patients, staff and, eventually, visitors.

Now it’s time to rethink the design of new and future healthcare facilities with this goal in mind. It’s time to look more purposefully to the future and to consider not just how communities should function in light of the coronavirus pandemic but how they should be designed, configured and, ultimately, re-imagined, according to McKnight’s Senior Living.

Preventing the spread of infectious disease has always been an essential priority in long-term care but one achieved primarily through specific practices, including sanitation and close coordination with hospitals and urgent care providers. The scale and severity of COVID-19 has challenged accepted standards and led to a re-examination of the way physical spaces in senior living communities can and should be used.

Building space already are being repurposed. Rooms have been set aside within facilities for donning and doffing of personal protective equipment. Entrances have been reconfigured, and touchless doors have been added. Although some design changes might be temporary, many of these now-makeshift elements will be embedded permanently in designs for the future.

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