Hospitals are one of the vital institutions people need. Every day, people come in and out of hospitals for their health. Without healthcare facilities, it would be hard to live comfortably. Indeed, without good health, your quality of life would be affected.
During the high of the pandemic, we’ve seen the importance of hospitals. We had a glimpse of how the world would be if our healthcare system were at risk. If a hospital is understaffed, it would be impossible for them to meet all of the patients’ demands.
A lot of healthcare facilities aim to expand. Hospital expansion plans aim to provide better service and health access to everyone. It may be easy to spot areas that hospitals need to improve on. But, working on an official expansion plan is not a walk in the park.
Healthcare management needs to discuss and evaluate a lot of areas first. Often, they sacrifice one good plan to implement a better one. In this article, let’s look at five essential points to incorporate into a hospital expansion plan.
1. First, work on the place where to relocate the hospital operations that will be affected
Before you dive into the critical part of the expansion plan, you should first priorities’ the hospital operations that will be affected. If you renovate a building, you may need to relocate its offices and facilities. Relocating them would help continue their operations and accommodate patients.
Now the question is, where should the offices and facilities be relocated? Some hospitals relocate their offices to their other buildings. That is if there are extra spaces to accommodate all offices. Nowadays, a lot of people also prefer using temporary healthcare buildings.
Usually, temporary hospital buildings use modular construction. Some healthcare facilities now even use modular buildings because of their quality and affordability. As you know, expansion plans may take years to finish. If that’s the case, it’s best to go for a temporary healthcare building; to ensure a smooth work operation.
2. The evaluation of your hospital’s current facilities
As you work on your hospital expansion plan, you must evaluate your existing facilities. Your evaluation will help develop better ideas for your plan. The importance of the evaluation is to help you assess the areas that you need to improve on.
Since the purpose of hospital expansion is to provide better service, you can start by looking into your current facilities. Based on your evaluation, you can then create criteria that you’d like to work on. Creating criteria can help you focus on the important areas that you need to priorities’.
As you do your evaluation, it’s also important to ask other people’s opinions and reviews. Let’s look at point number three why.
3. Support your evaluation with staff and clients’ reviews and opinions
Including the medical staff and clients’ reviews on your hospital expansion plan is as important as including your evaluation. You might wonder, why? Because it’s important to know and understand the sentiments of people who spend a lot of time in the hospital. In short, it’s important to know the similarities or differences in their opinions and experiences.
It’s also important to know the different perspectives of the people who spend most of their time in the hospital — to better develop the expansion plan. If management will only focus on their opinions, there’s a chance that they’ll be too clouded on their judgment.
Having opinions from people who know the daily operations well and from people outside the hospital are helpful tools to use in your plans.
4. Detailed and efficient system proposals that will benefit workers and patients
Once you get the opinions of the medical workers and your clients, you will then have an idea of what their needs and expectations are. Now, the next move that you need to make is to incorporate a detailed and efficient system proposal that will benefit them.
If there’s a review that says the comfort rooms in the hospital are too distant from the workers’ area, why don’t you include that in your expansion plan? If patients complain that the hospital cafeteria is unsanitary or too small; focus on expanding it and implement strict cleanliness rules.
There are hospitals where medical workers and patients need to travel around just to reach their destination. Every space in the hospital must be designed to be efficient and consolidated in the best possible way. That way, everyone who goes in and out of the hospital daily will have a seamless and hassle-free experience.
5. A second option and plan that is flexible and is open to future changes
Even though it’s important to make a strategic system plan for your hospital expansion, it’s equally important that you have a plan B. It would be even better if your plan is flexible to future changes.
As we know, the only constant thing in this world is change. In the future, we can expect that we’ll need medical advancements and technology. The same goes for demands that could happen in the future.
That’s why it’s important to incorporate flexibility into your plans. Incorporating modular designs could be smart, too. Also, your layout’s electrical and mechanical systems should be easy to modify as well. That way, your hospital is ready for any unexpected changes that might happen in the future.
Every detail, no matter how small or big matters in your planning process
The five points I shared above are just some of the many that would be helpful in your hospital expansion plan. Aside from these, there are a lot of other points that you need to evaluate, improve, and work on. As you go on with your planning, always remember that every detail matters.
No matter how small or big you think that detail is, it surely can help you improve your ideas. Take into account the modern system suggestions that you encounter, too. So, the next time you encounter a new detail, take the time to assess it and see how it would contribute to your hospital expansion plans.
About the author:
Bianca Banda is a writer for Flex by MTX, a privately owned construction and engineering company that relentlessly champions the use of Modern Methods of Construction for social, economic, and environmental good.