Safety

Resilient design, security growing considerations in design of new healthcare spaces

Hospital Safety Insider, March 15, 2018

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

Resilient design and security strategies are two of the hottest topics on the minds of those responsible for the planning the design of healthcare facilities, according to the annual Hospital Construction Survey conducted by Health Facilities Management, the magazine for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).

Of the 274 facilities professionals from hospitals across the country who completed the survey, 89% of respondents said that when designing and building new spaces they now consider resiliency. The magazine described resiliency as "a design style that resists a variety of natural or human-induced disasters and aids in quick recovery."

Power outages have been the most common events experienced over the past three years by facilities participating in the survey, with 66% of respondents putting this on their list. After that, the most common events were winter storms (47%), hurricanes (19%), and flooding (19%). Meanwhile, the respondents most often identified power outages, fires, and winter storms as priorities in building for resiliency.

“Resilience is a topic that has increased in prevalence, particularly in the face of recent events, both natural and man-made,” Joseph Sprague, FAIA, FACHA, FHFI, an associate member director of the ASHE board of directors, told the magazine. “Globally, natural disasters have increased by 400 percent in the past two decades. We have also seen an increase in epidemics, including contagious diseases, diabetes and the opioid crisis. Each of these has directly and uniquely [affected] hospital design.”

Security is also a concern while designing new spaces, with mass shootings, bombings, and other acts of terrorism popping up in the news seemingly every week.

“Questions have been raised," Chad Beebe, AIA, FASHE, deputy executive director for advocacy for ASHA, told the magazine. "But, most importantly, this environment has led to awareness and the development of procedures in case of such events."

Asked about design and architecture features used in their facilities to "prevent damage from violence and civil unrest," respondents said they tried solutions such as bollards  in front of entrance points; installing breakproof glass, cameras, and metal detectors; and installing fencing, caging, and walls "around the roof to prevent unauthorized access to roof-mounted air handlers, intakes, and other areas of ventilation."

To check out the full survey results, visit the Health Facilities Management website.



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

    Hospital Safety Center
  • Hospital Safety Center

    Improve compliance with hospital safety standards from The Joint Commission, OSHA, and other regulators with this...

  • Healthcare Life Safety Compliance

    Created exclusively for healthcare facility managers, plant operations professionals, and directors of engineering, this...

  • Hospital Safety Insider

    Stay on top of hospital safety requirements and best practices with our free, fast-paced weekly update.

  • Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your outpatient...

  • Basic Dental OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your dental...

Most Popular