The success of project planning relies heavily upon those involved in it.
Often, entire teams composed of architects, project managers, and clinicians are in charge of ensuring that patient care needs, available technologies for health care, and design and construction aspects are met, balanced, and delivered correctly.
A Balancing Act
Medical planners are constantly performing delicate balancing acts. Their goal is to ascertain that all members of the team are armed with up-to-date information regarding the status of equipment needed for the project.
Similar to the design process and the construction phase, medical equipment planning in hospital construction is rather repetitive. What this means is that planning begins with a top-level assessment of any anticipated clinical services, as well as further focus on details as time goes on.
How Design Affects Medical Equipment Planning
Ideally, the planning of medical equipment should not occur any later than the design and development phase of a project. This is fundamental since it allows for the information to be disseminated to the team heading the project.
To date, only a limited amount of medical equipment is required to be specific in model and manufacturer. However, with an increase in design detail, a similar increase can be seen in the medical equipment list.
Primary function and space requirements for equipment are typically determined during the early phase of the design process. For instance, facilities that are in the process of designing and adding hybrid operating rooms would benefit from planning out the types of procedures that are going to be performed in them first.
More importantly, input on medical equipment planning during the course of space allocation is very helpful. Even more so when the particular project involves radiology or surgery spaces, both of which are housed in locations that are technology-concentrated.
Communication Goes Hand in Hand With Design
As the project progresses further, data and drawings that are specific to the site are fleshed out along with the requirements for installations. This enables the construction group to finish their work.
Any changes with medical equipment in hospital construction must be communicated in an efficient manner to those affected, particularly the construction team. Quick communication of any concerns is necessary so that potential issues can be spotted early on and resolutions can be put in place to manage them without any costly order changes.
Flexible design and construction procedures are now necessary due to the countless technological advancements in healthcare — especially for facilities that are constantly on the lookout for new trends in patient care.
How Medical Equipment Planning is Changing the Landscape of Hospital Construction
Architectural firms in the healthcare industry, and even planning consulting firms, have now included medical equipment planning services in their own lineups. Similarly, software tools for healthcare companies are also slowly adding this to their roster of services.
Naturally, each of these have differing levels of capabilities, functions, and services, thus it’s crucial for a professional health care facility to properly identify which of the services are beneficial before taking any on.
It’s clear that the innovations in medical equipment planning in hospital construction have slowly been accelerating over the last thirty years or so. They’re now a vital addition as technologies and facilities in healthcare have become increasingly complex.
Early attempts of medical equipment planning were often handled by the clinical engineering team of a facility. In some instances, it was even under the supervision of the materials management department. To a certain degree, the DIY approach to medical equipment planning in hospital construction continues today.
The sheer volume of data needed for a hospital project can become overwhelming. Most facility departments are already performing essential hospital tasks, and architectural firms have only the most basic knowledge in this planning field. To contextualize, a mid-range sized hospital project can easily include 5,000 pieces of equipment, sometimes more. It’s easy to see now, with these daunting numbers, how specialized expertise is a must.
VOC Associates has a team of professionals with expertise in medical equipment planning. We have set up equipment for hospitals and laboratories of all sizes. Visit our website or call (216) 284-4481 today!