Throughout North America it is becoming apparent that as people live longer, the population grows, as the “baby boomers” turn 65 and as more people have access to healthcare coverage, a shortage of primary care physicians is rapidly evolving. To address this shortage of primary care providers the healthcare design and construction industry has shifted its focus from large acute hospital projects to medical office buildings housing many physicians, community health clinics or ambulatory care centers. Teams of healthcare workers such as nurse practitioners, dieticians, mental health providers and social workers are coming together in partnership with the primary care physician to provide team based patient centered care. What has been established in this approach is a medical home where total care with the exception of surgical procedures, is provided and away from the historical large hospital complex.
With this concept of multi providers providing patients with care through all stages of life, comes the need to anticipate space requirements now and into the future. The traditional approach of individual offices does not support the interactive and ever-changing needs of a team of healthcare professionals. They have to work with each other, improve efficiency, have access to each other, have flexibility and options in terms of arranging space as technology and services offered evolve etc.
One strategy that has been developed to achieve the patient centered concept is a universal exam module. This could consist of a fixed wall defined space in which there would be a flexible number of exam rooms defined and established by the use of operable partitions rather than fixed walls. The number of partitions, their location when in place or stacked and accessories (pass doors, writing surfaces, final finish) would be determined at the design stage in consultation with the primary care physician and his practice. As his needs and the needs of his patients change and evolve, partitions will be rearranged as needed. As the clinic’s needs change and grow, these modules because of the ability to relocate the operable partitions become flexible and dynamic. Operable Partitions can be relocated (and put back) by owners staff in literally minutes. The additional capital expense of relocating permanent walls is eliminated. There is also no disruption in patient service: no down time with the associated dust and dirt.
Even after hours the physicians may be able to offer this flexible space, as a service to his patients and the community, for community meeting space, meetings for local charities and clubs, yoga, Pilates or other health related services by reconfiguring the operable partitions.
Don’t be limited by the permanence of fixed walls. Call Moderco so we can work with you in the design of flexible space in a healthcare module by using Moderco Operable Partitions.