Parkland Hospital exterior

Beyond Pandemic Planning and Design for Healthcare

Preparing Healthcare Facilities for Resilience Begins with Flexibility

Flexibility is imperative to survival in the harshest conditions — a tree that won’t bend in the wind easily breaks. When it comes to the built environment, spaces that flex and adapt can remain resilient in the face of emergency scenarios, including pandemics.

Our global expertise has provided us with a unique perspective on the impact of the pandemic. From hospitals to clinics, offices to airports, laboratories to universities, we’ve experienced what’s worked — and what hasn’t — in planning and design around the world.

As we prepare for the future, we’re focusing on designing healthcare facilities that can adapt to any situation — today, next year or decades to come.

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With telemedicine's expanded use throughout the pandemic, how are healthcare facilities rethinking design?

Several experts detail design and operational strategies to reduce the risk of infection within healthcare facilities. 

How have patient behaviors and mindsets shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

How can healthcare facilities flex and adapt to continue safely caring for patients during a pandemic?

Lessons from our expertise in biocontainment and biosafety can help all healthcare facility types with infection control and creating a safe atmosphere for patients and caregivers.

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Conversion readiness and flexibility by design can make a difference during a pandemic surge and embolden emergency strategies in healthcare facilities.

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The healthcare delivery environment goes beyond the walls of the hospital. How can a flexible site create opportunities for an increased response during a pandemic?

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Conversion-Ready Strategies for Pandemic Preparedness

Conversion-ready, acuity-adaptable patient rooms are not new to healthcare design; several of our most advanced healthcare projects have employed this strategy. How can we best prepare our healthcare facilities to handle a pandemic surge?

Conversion readiness for healthcare

Negative Pressure Isolation Rooms with Ante Rooms

How Ante Rooms Fit into Patient Rooms

Patient Rooms that Flex to Isolation Rooms

Before surge conditions arise, it's important to identify key areas throughout the hospital that can convert to isolation zones as part of emergency strategy. Adding an ante room to select patient rooms will create the necessary barrier to reduce the spread of an infectious disease. The presence of the ante room maintains negative pressure inside the patient room preventing any pathogens in the air from reaching the corridor. Ante rooms also provide a proper location to don and doff personal protective equipment away from normal patient care activity. This strategy can be applied at any scale from a single patient room to an entire patient unit. 

Several hospitals we designed were planned to include this feature to be prepared in the case of a pandemic or other emergency event. 

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Telemental Health and the COVID-19 Behavioral Health Crisis

This analysis investigates telehealth, telemental health and telepsychiatry as protective measures during this pandemic and as a resource for therapy and crisis treatment during the COVID-19 mental and behavioral health crisis and beyond, and offers an up-close examination of design examples.  

Telehealth Behavioral and Mental Health Care
Webinar: Health and Mobility In Post-Pandemic Community Development

Webinar: Health and Mobility In Post-Pandemic Community Development

How can we leverage the need for improved access to healthcare — either as an essential worker or citizen — and reliable and safe access to transportation systems in our public and private development to spur social and economic progress in exciting new directions? This Bisnow panel discussion investigates the symbiotic relationship between health and transportation mobility. 

High-Consequence Infectious Disease: Principles & Models for Patient Safety

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa raised awareness of the need for renewed efforts to safely care for patients with highly pathogenic infectious diseases. As the leading design firm for both healthcare and science facilities, we assembled a core team of planners, architects and engineers who have planned patient biocontainment isolation units and BSL-3 and BSL-4 containment facilities on six continents. This white paper provides an overview of the issues and ideas discussed during the colloquium. 

High-Consequence Infectious Disease: Principles & Models for Patient Safety

Emergency Response Strategies In Action

The Advocate Outpatient Collaborative, an Integrated Lean Project Delivery team that has spent the past six years rapidly delivering clinics throughout the Chicagoland area, dramatically shifted its focus on March 18, 2020, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering 26 fully-outfitted and operational emergency department overflow Surge Tents across Illinois and Wisconsin.

London Health Sciences Centre  in London, Ontario, called upon our architects to plan and develop design concepts for a temporary care facility. Including patient bays and staff support areas, this design concept was implemented to adapt the Western Fair District Agriplex building into a field hospital to assist with the expected surge of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bubbles of Hope completely reimagines how we respond to the challenges associated with care delivery during disasters. There are typically two components to disaster response: the field hospital and the temporary shelter. The field hospital puts caregivers right on the frontlines, in dangerous situations. What if, with 21st Century technology, we could employ a cloud-based approach?