Focus on the Creation of a Patient-Centered Framework

Bryan Camoens

Dr. Eric Chan, Senior Hospital Manager – Facility Management, for Kwong Wah Hospital, Hospital Authority, HKSAR, discusses the importance of initial capital cost, stand-alone facility systems, and new sophisticated facility technology with Pharma IQ's Bryan Camoens. He also examines the evolution of health facilities in Asia.

Pharma IQ: Could you please highlight the do’s and don’ts of building the health facility as a brand identity?

E Chan:  Do: Focuses on the creation of a patient-centered framework, evidence-based design, performance-based approach, plan for change, solution for uncertainty and building with a highly efficient modular setting to achieve greater flexibility, adaptability and integration.

Don’t: Stress the importance of initial capital cost, stand-alone facility system, new and sophisticated facility technology.

Creation of the hospital brand identity: Excellent integrated sustainable design (tangible and quantifiable) to show how hospital contributes to its environment- ease of access and reach with straightforward integration with various transport facilities.

Pharma IQ: What are some of the techniques in design and develop health facilities that continue functioning during disasters and natural calamities?

E Chan:  A well thought out strategy for emergency preparedness is needed in design and development of health facilities, with particular focus on the capacity in managing surge in demand. While the design should include dual feed and supply for the selected mission critical facilities, decontamination with considerations of patient flow, security and convertibility are equally important during disasters and natural calamities of crisis.

Pharma IQ: How are basic lifelines of a health facility maintained? Power, water, waste management and disposal?

E Chan: A risk-based systematic surveying and surveillance system is applied in hospital facilities to capture the condition of their performance. This is the integrated platform (CMMS and CCMS) for prompt corrective maintenance on top of the planned and preventive overhauling to the system under the 3-year rolling plan of the overall budget. Departmental drills in line with the contingency plan will be conducted periodically with clinical fronts. Internal and external facility and quality auditors will then carry out review of the whole process of works and drills.

Pharma IQ: What are some of the challenges in overcoming techniques in existing hospital developments while integrating sustainable features? 

E Chan:
Stewardship of the environment towards sustainability in design and construction of heath facilities is based upon the concept of triple bottom lines approach in which the best solution is the intersection of consideration of social, environmental and economical context. The challenges faced include immaturity and uncertainty of the green technologies, life cycle assessment, and applicability in health sectors. Some of the integrated sustainable features cover water conservation, renewable energy, heat recovery, cleaner production, recycled materials and environmental quality in the use of space to achieve low emission, green roof, shading, accessibility to daylight, views and operable windows.

Pharma IQ: What are some of the key factors that need to be taken into account when retrofitting and renovating a health facility?

E Chan: Key factors include building structure, mechanical and electrical infrastructure, clinical service need and development, patient flow, security, privacy, decanting, service diversion, contractual arrangement, construction management, noise and dust prevention, budgetary control, cash flow management and commissioning.

Pharma IQ: What are some of the future proofing health facility development trends and techniques that we will begin to see?

E Chan:
The pace of innovation, plurality of provision and technological advances will end up with significant variance in working patterns. It is not easy to have a future proofing design. However, development of new health facility offers a unique opportunity to provide efficient, safe, quality, green and sustainable environments to meet the needs of a modernised health service. New facilities can be a catalyst for change with impact on the behaviour and questioning conventional planning assumptions and layouts of design. Techniques applied can provide efficient and effective layouts that support productive workflows. These make best use of staff and technology by realising better patient flow, reducing waiting time and making it easy to find places. It should also aim at improving safe working with zero IOD and contained energy and operational cost for the new buildings.

Pharma IQ: What do you think is important for the evolution of health facilities design and development over the next decade?

E Chan: Design with the consideration of carbon footprint, maximising the potential of the site, integration seamlessly into the community, flexibility and elasticity in changing the space to cope with the clinical and functional needs without significant time and cost impact, grouping functions with similar requirements can offer more economic layouts and together with being more adaptable to change. Structural grids, building services and headroom can be designed to suit activities rather than having to be the same throughout the building, with high degree of interchangeability to increase the space utilisation rate. Consideration of the planning for future expansion and flexibility of use in the layout for vertical and horizontal circulation shall be made.