The planning and designing of a healthcare facility is a specialized niche of the architecture industry that plays a significant role in the healing and recovery of patients. The safety and quality of care provided to the patients is the guiding factor for the architects and planners while designing a hospital. The requirement for specific standards to meet the guidelines for accreditation by NABH & JCI is mandatory during the planning and layout designing of the healthcare structure.
The Decor Journal India organized a Healthcare Conference on 28th June 2022, which discussed the planning and designing aspects of a Hospital facility and the insights were put forward by the eminent healthcare professionals and renowned healthcare architects of the country about the norms and guidelines that should supposedly be followed.
At the Healthcare Conference organized by The Decor Journal India, Dr. Shankar Narang – the Chief Operating Officer at Paras Healthcare Pvt. Ltd narrated the basic factors required before constructing a hospital.
He said one of the foremost factors is the Area of the project. The factors used for deciding the area are demographics and the population of that area. The demographic data helps further in conceptualizing the size of the project. Next comes into consideration the exact location of the project, the total land area that supposedly should be used, and the connectivity of the site to other parts of the city. In the case of tier-2 and tier-3 towns, the focus is also on the nearby districts and how their population will be catered to by the hospital.
Another major factor is the availability of healthcare expertise in that area which is a vital aspect of erecting a hospital. Not only the doctors, but technicians, nurses, and other staff members are of significance. Next factor is evaluating the disease profile of the area which governs the designing of medical programs for that hospital. The medical technology landscape is further used in planning the medical technology and programs for the hospital. The last factor is the scope of future expansion for that facility. The general working cycle in terms of occupancy rate is 5 – 7 years, after which future expansion availability will help the hospital function longer and better.
Speaking about the factors that are considered while designing a healthcare project, Architect Uday Bhanu – principal partner at EFNRA Consultants, says “that our whole aim is that we have a very comfortable living space in a way which overlooks as much greenery as possible”. He emphasizes keeping whatever spaces possible connected with the outdoors as it improvises the well-being of both the patients and the caregivers. Shedding light on the norms and standards formulated for hospitals, he shares how a vast difference is visible in the by-laws of every state and we need to design a service floor or a core area according to the requirements of the project type.
Architect Shamit Manchanda – founder of Manchanda Associates says, “ After an earthquake, everybody rushes to the hospital for treatment and if hospitals also collapse then where do people go”. So it is a significant factor to consider while designing a Healthcare facility to incorporate systems like passive energy dampers or base isolation that make a building earthquake-proof.
Architect Brinda Sengupta- Vice President at HKS, highlights the importance of support services in a hospital. These are the most valuable part of a healthcare facility and proper administration spaces, service areas, and resting areas should be planned that caters to this group. She further adds the significance of collaborative working with the medical professionals, engineers, and other consultants involved to craft a design that is viable in all aspects and caters to the maximum requirements of a hospital.
Dr. Shankar Narang also discusses the importance of patient view point while designing hospitals. The foremost thing is for the patient to feel safe and secure in the hospital environment. The patient should not feel intimidated by the ambiance of the hospital staff. If any of such scenarios exist, it would impact the mental well-being of the patient which would suppress the faster recovery. Another aspect shared by the architects is the ease of navigating the space. Proper signages and guiding features should be incorporated while designing which makes it easier for the patients to go around the whole space.
Along with the planning and designing factors entailed by these professionals for a hospital, one factor that certainly needs more work is Design Ideation. Architect Ravideep Singh – the founder of Creative Designer Architects says, “ the amount of time we spend on design, research, and hypotheses towards better outcomes is something we need to work on”. The process of conceptualizing and research is equally important as Planning and layout formation.
The healthcare conference aimed to enlighten the community about the nuances of Hospital Architecture and the insights from these Experienced professionals will certainly cater to the growth and betterment of the Healthcare Design Community.