- Contact Us
SSH’s healthcare specialist, Dr. Angela Burke, presented at this year’s Big 5 construction exhibition in Kuwait.
Informed by her experience as a medical planner, she spoke to an international audience as to how design team members can navigate the unique complexities associated with designing contemporary healthcare facilities.
She explained the extent to which healthcare design projects vary in speciality and scale. New healthcare facilities can range between an 800 bed facility, such as, SSH’s current Kuwait Children’s Hospital project, to a 7,000 sqm unique stem cell and umbilical cord facility which is currently under construction in the Al-Sabah region of Kuwait. She advised that, regardless of scale or type, a number of key considerations must be addressed and implemented.
While similar to other architectural projects, she outlined the extent to which the industry needs to be aware that healthcare design schemes require additional services including health planning, medical planning, medical equipment spatial planning as well as specialist expertise that might include radiation protection and infection control services. Angela recommended establishing an organised management team to co-ordinate the work of large and knowledgeable design teams.
Introduced during her presentation was the field of study that emphasises the importance of credible evidence to influence healthcare design is Evidence-Based Design (EBD). This use of knowledge improves patient and staff well-being by minimising patients, family and staff stress. One design strategy described was the introduction of positive distractions (artwork, entertainment and nature) to improve patient healing, stress reduction and better safety.
Angela also stressed the need for specialist interior design in medical environments stating that infection control is a major consideration in healthcare environments as well as issues of materiality. Typical items he advised for consideration included slip-resistant and static free flooring, wall protection, chair materiality and strength of structure, and easily cleaned sanitary arrangements positioned in appropriate locations that support EBD and the occupants of the building.
In summary Dr. Angela Burke stated that healthcare outcomes continue to benefit greatly from lessons learned as a consequence of recent developments in international healthcare design and the importance of regulation and standards in assisting navigation through the unique complexities of designing for improved healthcare.