Posted In // Healthcare Design Tips
The SMA as a sign of things to comeAs you can see above, design adapts to meet the needs of healthcare firms. One great example of a new need that’s influencing design is the accommodation of “shared medical appointments” (SMAs).
These types of appointments are becoming more popular with hospitals and clinics, especially now that studies are showing they work. A 2014 Annals of Family Medicine study compared patient satisfaction in SMAs vs. traditional one-on-one appointments – finding that the SMA group gave more “very good” descriptions to appointment availability, office hour convenience, and turnaround time on lab results.
One way to see how the healthcare design landscape is changing is to look at medical office buildings (MOBs). In the twentieth century, MOBs were intended for the care of disparate populations in one-size-fits-all rooms. Today, MOB and medical clinic design must take into account the SMA and similar approaches.
7 medical office trendsHere are seven ways that medical office design is adjusting to better meet patient and provider needs, focusing on the case of the medical office building:
1. The developmental model is being refined. The way that these buildings were designed in the past was an effort to optimize the building for federal reimbursement. “Facility licensing is not an issue if you’re only talking about in space with a lot of [unrelated] conditions,” said healthcare construction expert Teresa Wilson. “Today, though, the onus is on these organizations to provide wellness care, which creates a stronger incentive for putting the whole service component in one location.”
2. They are less simplistic, with the desire for collaboration evident in shared spaces and multiple interconnections between adjacent areas.
3. They are established in offices that are easier for patients to access, with construction project executive Neil Humphrey noting that “doc-in-the-box” establishments in shopping malls will help meet growing demand.
4. To address provider expectations of less waste, better productivity, and more consistent clinical outcomes, MOBs are built with a core focus on leanness, even removing private areas for individual doctors in some cases.
5. Digitization is allowing MOBs to adjust their health care design so that there’s more room for interaction between patients and providers, with less for spaces that don’t bring in money. Tools used to allow for smaller waiting areas include self-service kiosks, technologies that track patients within the building, and sensors that determine when exam rooms are empty.
6. There is more of a focus on how the environment looks. Since women make most decisions on healthcare, MOBs are adapting to appear similar to other areas meant to make women feel comparable: spas and hotels.
7. They are more sustainable. “The greening of MOBs is a trend, with requirements for new items from bike lockers, showers, and electric-vehicle charging stations to super-efficient HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption,” explained healthcare consultant Bill Foulkes.