Modernizing Health Facility Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Image: facility staff walking through a hall

Modern Infrastructure: Does it lead to a Better Patient Experience?
Health care is changing. Patient needs are changing. And while facilities have gotten bigger and have grown in complexity to meet these ever-shifting needs, oftentimes physical environments have not kept pace with evidence-based design trends and technical innovation, leading to older facilities that look and feel dated, and don’t perform optimally.

Existing health facilities must be upgraded to meet the needs of today’s patients. Modernizing your facility’s infrastructure will lead to increased patient satisfaction and safety, and may improve your facility’s HCAHPS survey scores.

More Efficient Layout
Modernized facility layouts lead to increased staff efficiency, which can reduce wait and transfer times, and ensure rapid response to patient needs.

Initiatives such as flexible and adaptable spaces, layouts that reduce walking distance between patient rooms, and smart, effective staff and patient flow should be incorporated into your interior quality improvement plan.

Better Technology
Old software and technical systems can present frustrations among providers as well as patients. Modern, flexible, and integrated technology is key to seamless data management, communication, and more within a health care system. Data infrastructure improvements may include automating processes in order to eliminate errors, or going paperless in order to cut costs.

Even something as simple as equipping patient rooms and waiting areas with additional outlets to allow for the use of technology by patients and loved ones can make a significant difference in patient satisfaction.

Enhanced Aesthetic
Improving the look of an outdated facility with upgraded furniture, contemporary décor, and natural light will make patients and loved ones feel more comfortable, and can improve their perception of cleanliness and sanitation within the facility.

Safer Conditions
Safety standards have changed throughout the years. Modernizing your facility’s safety features may include improving emergency signage, upgrading to surfaces that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated, making improvements that mitigate the spread of disease and sickness, and encouraging staff and patient hand washing with easy-to-use and fully accessible sink stations.

An Example: How Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Completed Major Renovations while Minimizing Patient Impact
One of the challenges that facilities considering renovations encounter is how to deal with the transition period. When Providence St. Vincent Medical Center was faced with reality that its four decade old, 482-bed main tower was in need of significant infrastructure and interior quality improvements, they used a collaborative and transparent design process that enabled the team to evaluate multiple options, and make complex decisions. As a result of this process, a 40-year old fully occupied nursing tower was rebuilt to serve patients for another 40 years.

Learn more about the power of modern infrastructure, and how you can make interior quality improvements to your facility while minimizing the impact on patients, at this year’s PDC Summit. Plan on attending one of the following related session:

  • Improving the Patient Experience through Energy to Care