Lean Design: Preventing Infection During Construction

By Dan Hounsell
June 2, 2021

The and processes for healthcare facilities traditionally presents a host of opportunities for waste and inefficiency. Now, as managers look for ways to streamline these operations, they need to incorporate another, even more important issue into the process — infection control.

Lean design is a process-driven approach that examines the layout, flow, processes and protocols of a hospital, focusing on identifying and eliminating problems, according to . For infection control, the application of lean design helps ensure processes for staff, patients and materials that encounter potential pathogens have as few opportunities as possible for cross-contamination with those that do not.


Lean design looks deeply to refine each process by minimizing unnecessary movement and waste, which inherently prevents cross-contamination. Designers who apply lean design focus on efficiency-centric metrics, such as minimizing the number of steps taken, eliminating the search for supplies and avoiding interruptions. Since every facility has different needs, designers should assess the layout and processes of a given facility during operations to identify problems and tailor specific solutions.

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