Transformation Update - February 12, 2018
Five years ago, none of us had a doorbell with a wi-fi camera. Personal drones weren’t buzzing overhead. Smart speakers weren’t sitting on millions of kitchen counters.
What technological advancements will consumers see in the next five years? The next 25? The next 50?
In medicine, innovation is coming just as fast, in technology, in care delivery, even in the health care business model. We cannot imagine what the future will bring.
Yet our team of architects is tasked with designing a new hospital that will last at least 50 years. If we hold to the “form follows function” tenet of design and build it for today’s functions and needs, there’s a chance the hospital will be becoming outdated the day it opens five years from now.
That’s why we are embracing something I call “process-neutral design.” Form will indeed follow function, but the function is not going to be a specific set of operations. It’s going to be the ability to have ANY operation work in the environment we create, including operations we can’t predict right now.
In other words, the function of the new hospital is flexibility.
Think about today’s warehouses, convention centers and spec office buildings. Walls can be moved. Spaces can be expanded, contracted, converted and reimagined depending on the needs. We want our new hospital to be just as adaptable.
I envision a floorplan that emphasizes modularity. Each structural module could be multiplied or subdivided to accommodate the spaces we need. One module might be the size of an office. Combine two to make an exam/procedural room. Three could be a patient room. Four modules might make up an operating room.
Walls could be added, subtracted or moved easily, quickly and affordably – without electricians or construction teams. Innovations in care and technology could be quickly implemented, saving time, money and lives.
With process-neutral design, our new hospital stays new, ready to go wherever the innovations of tomorrow take us.