When colleagues at Mazzetti asked LS3P to join an effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering (IFHE), we were honored and humbled by the opportunity to help. The directive was to present strategies for circulation, social distancing, PPE, and ventilation for an existing healthcare facility in Dedougou, Burkina Faso to prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. The urgency of the situation was reflected in the ambitious timeline- eight days from kickoff meeting to final draft.

A visit to the doctor will not be the same after COVID-19.  As our healthcare practitioners prepare to re-open medical office buildings after COVID-19 closures, they will be working in a very different medical landscape. Healthcare organizations are committed to delivering the best possible care for their patients, and are extremely conscious of new protocols for both patient and staff safety. LS3P is exploring with our clients ways in which clinics can adapt the physical environment to help maintain physical distancing and follow CMS recommendations for reopening facilities to provide non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare.

In a natural disaster, maintaining hospital function is critical to an effective response. For several years now, LS3P, a regional architecture, interiors, and planning firm with eight offices in the Southeast, has been working with hospitals and other critical infrastructure to bolster Resiliency Preparedness plans. The strategies which emerged from these plans focused on rapid recovery after hurricanes, floods, or snowstorms. Suggestions typically involved hardened HVAC systems in strategic locations; bolstered IT systems; hurricane resistant exterior wall, window, and roof systems; and so forth. Then COVID-19 hit.

LEAN Design principles have long been associated with the manufacturing industry. Toyota originally pioneered this process for its automotive assembly lines, and LEAN principles have since been disseminated and applied worldwide. Eliminating waste- whether in materials, motions, or time- is a fantastic way to improve production and reduce errors, whether the product is cars or widgets or boxes of cereal.

Allied health training programs have evolved to meet 21st century needs, and today’s buildings must follow suit. Specialized training facilities blend the best attributes of both higher education and healthcare designs, requiring expertise in both disciplines. In particular, high-fidelity simulation labs offer students the chance to practice clinical skills in a safe, controlled environment.