in this series, health design asks leading healthcare design professionals, companies and owners to tell us what caught their attention and share some ideas on the topic. Sabah Mohammed is an architectural designer at Perkins & Will (Atlanta). Here she shares her thoughts on access and quality of healthcare and how it is shaping the future of healthcare design.
- Health care takes place in communities
Health systems invest in communities to address the social determinants of health (SDOH). Insurers like UnitedHealth, CVS Health and Anthem are investing in a range of services and capital projects that ensure patients receive the right care in the right setting, helping to address SDOH upfront and building a community’s trust in the healthcare system [lots of different terms used here]. In addition, interventions such as wrap-around clinics and medical homes that provide long-term care after patients leave the hospital’s front door can reduce emergency department occupancy and relapse through prevention. Project teams with cross-sector collaboration between urban planning, housing, health and landscaping will be better able to tackle projects whose programmatic needs cannot be isolated.
- Improving access to quality care
A variety of models help improve access to care, such as: These include mobile health clinics that can provide personalized care and mobile immunization units, like one that Perkins & Will has developed as part of a COVID-19 response to support large-scale immunization. CityBlock Health, a New York-based healthcare provider serving Medicaid and Medicare recipients in low-income communities, uses a neighborhood health center model that prioritizes care outside of hospitals and physicians’ offices whenever it makes sense. Hubs are built in existing trusted spaces, such as community centers, and operated by partners with community histories. Another example is start-up Fabric Health, which is rethinking the doctor’s office and improving access to healthcare by partnering with local laundromats that have customers on a weekly basis. Visitors can have a cancer screening, blood pressure check, or health insurance.
- The Rise of the Medtail
Medtail focuses on converting vacant malls and existing retail space into supply centers through an adaptive reuse strategy. Recognizing the valuable access they provide to medically underserved rural communities, leading retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Dollar General have begun to migrate healthcare services onto their existing retail infrastructure. For example, Walmart and CVS are dedicating 3,000 square feet of existing retail space in select stores to an eight-room doctor’s office and laboratory.
- focus on women
Women control more than 80 percent of health spending decisions, so health systems must be designed to meet the needs of women and families. Start-ups like Tia, which operates clinics in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona, and Advantia Health (Arlington, Virginia) have recognized this and are developing hybrid care models that combine primary, behavioral and gynecologic care To provide women with a “one stop shop” for their healthcare needs. A seamless patient experience across physical and digital care modalities is also prioritized as a design driver. Organizations need to expand their project delivery skills and expertise by hiring a broader range of talent, including clinicians, user experience researchers, and statisticians who will bring expertise in the drivers driving change, such as: B. Clinical innovation and changing consumer preferences .
- measure results
There is an urgent need to develop a more rigorous approach to measuring building performance and related outcomes. Post-Occupancy Evaluations are designed to measure these outcomes long after construction is complete and the building is occupied. At the population level, the top priority must be a better understanding of the design and implementation of behavior change interventions at scale. At the building level, we need to better understand how social factors and environments affect health and well-being.
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