The article below reflects project manager Wright Dickinson’s opinions on how to build efficiently within the often strict parameters of the healthcare world. As featured in High Profile Monthly, June 2015.
For today’s medical offices, efficiency is the goal. It takes a practiced and collaborative team to generate a layout that will reduce the number of footsteps providers have to take to handle the flow of patients, while increasing productivity with convenient touch-down spaces to make their jobs easier. A knowledgeable and experienced building team will know where to focus its efforts in order to deliver a comprehensive and intuitive medical space that seamlessly integrates all necessary building infrastructure.
The following case studies illustrate how a collaborative team focused on efficiency and productivity was able to achieve client goals within the strictly regulated parameters of a medical environment and tight project deadlines.
Tufts Medical Center, Quincy
Located in Crown Colony Park in Quincy, the new 15,000 SF, $1.5 million building is now the home for the Tufts Medical Center Primary Care Group. Early involvement allowed the project team to provide valuable estimating and value engineering services to both the building owner and architect, Lavallee Brensinger Architects, who provided the interior architecture and healthcare design services for the fit-out.
To create patient-centered offices to accommodate 12 physicians, the space has been divided into quadrants, each with exam rooms clustered around a centrally-located team room where doctors, nurses, and other support staff can meet to collaborate on patient care. This central quadrant is key to the design, as it mitigates redundancy and improves efficiency while providing easy access to essential medical equipment for all staff.
Longwood Pediatrics, Boston
Longwood Pediatrics, a 75-year-old private pediatric medical practice with close ties to Children’s Hospital Boston, acquired additional space within its building and decided to renovate its entire space to better serve its patients. Located in Boston’s highly-regarded Longwood Medical Area, the pediatric group occupies two floors and has remained open to patients throughout the renovation.
Again, Lavallee Brensinger Architects provided process analysis and simulation services to fine-tune patient and staff flow. Their new design features a dedicated check-in area, exam rooms, collaborative team rooms, and support functions for each floor, maximizing patient-provider interactions, and minimizing travel. The design focus for the medical facility was on applying demonstrative efficiency planning to the needs of the staff.
Preconstruction budgeting, phasing, and scheduling input were critical to minimizing the impact of construction on patients and staff. The three-phase renovation focused on updating the two floors to roll out the new interior design, and to comply with regulatory standards for handicap accessibility. A new fire protection service and distribution system to serve the entire six-story building was installed and required close coordination with the various tenants during construction to prevent disturbances. By applying the collective team’s bank of knowledge of past successes and failures, the medical facility is outwardly focused on providing optimal patient care, while internal operations are focused on productive efficiency.
In this case, communication was the primary efficiency driver, as clear documentation and coordination were essential to providing uninterrupted medical care during construction. Because the Kaplan/LBA team has worked symbiotically in the past, the choreography of design, construction, and occupied activity was seamless.