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Prepare for hospital ‘collision zones’

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The healthcare sector in moving to the open-office trend as part of other design innovations that hospital executives h0pe will make hospital services more saleable to the public.

Fierce Healthcare cites as an example the University of Minnesota’s new Ambulatory Care Center, which ”’eschews traditional offices in favor of a choice of different work settings that include ‘places where various providers and caregivers can interact,”’ says a recent Healthcare Design Magazine article.

But how much time in their already long days do these groups to have in which to “interact” more?

Fierce Healthcare reports: ”These ‘collaboration spaces,’ in the center of each clinic and intended to host interactions with patients, are in contrast to the ‘touchdown spaces’ that line the perimeter of the building and provide a place for staff to engage in more focused work outside of clinic hours, the article states.”

And the Gates Vascular Institute, in Buffalo, N.Y.,  has what it calls “collision zones” outside of operating rooms and laboratories that encourage doctors and researchers to sit down and compare notes, FierceHealthcare previously reported. ”Another innovative design idea comes from Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, in Kentucky, which renovated to place its heart center and operating rooms on the floor directly above the emergency department to speed up patient transfers.”

But many workers find that they don’t like open office space because of the  noise and lack of privacy.  Indeed, we suspect that most people, from the broom pusher on up, would prefer private offices.

In any event, the new focus on outpatient care makes a lot of sense, given how healthcare in general and reimbursement in particular are going.


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