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Top 5 Healthcare Design Ideas for 2017

By John Commins  
   December 21, 2016

Booze says microhospitals haven't caught on in rural areas because there's no money in it. "They can go into urban areas and get select ZIP codes where the payer mix is strong and where the insurance contracts are plentiful," he says.

"If they go out in the middle of nowhere where it's an underserved medical community, the projected caseloads are not as appetizing and the return on investment is a little riskier. They wouldn't be doing this if it didn't offer them a market share advantage or a chance for profitability."

2. ED Modernization
Many EDs have yet to adapt to higher volumes, and thus risk bottlenecks. To fix this, EDs will be configured to provide more immediate access to alternative settings, such as "rapid treatment" areas where patients are seen and often diagnosed, treated, and discharged without entering the main ED.

Retail Clinics Don't Reduce ER Visits

There will also more partnerships with nearby primary care settings for non-acute patients. EDs will also be better equipped for a wider range of medical problems, including universal, acuity-adaptable, same-handed treatment rooms.

3. Infection Control
Design innovations will become more ubiquitous, such as adapting single patient rooms' bathroom showers to include offset drains and sloping sides to minimize the spread of infection and contamination, as well as accommodation for new plumbing fixtures such as specialty sinks for hand-washing, shaped to reduce splash and the spread of dirty water.

Additional innovations will include specialized light fixtures that spin high-intensity, visible, indigo-colored light, which kill bacteria but do not harm human cells, and infection-resistant materials such as copper alloy surfaces.

4. The Medical Village
This next generation treatment model has a central family medicine practice surrounded by selected specialists that offer one-of-a-kind patient access and share improved processes, outcomes, and data for quality.

This model offers more outpatient services, including some surgical and invasive procedures that require only an overnight stay. E4H says this will lead to the design of more elaborate outpatient facilities, with observation beds and partial hospital stays.

5. Behavioral Health
Facility upgrades will balance safety and regulatory concerns with therapeutic environments.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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