When we start healthcare projects with a technology visioning session, we guide the discussion to address these questions:
- What is the hospital of the future going to look like?
- How do you construct a cutting-edge facility when it takes between 6 and 10 years to design and build a new hospital?
- What healthcare technologies will be relevant in the next 10 to 20 years?
- Which of today’s cutting-edge technologies be obsolete when the facility opens?
- How do I know that my hospital won’t be out-of-date when it opens?
- How do you anticipate and plan for new technologies?
Making Informed and Future-Looking Technology Decisions
An integral part of our Visioning sessions is a series of workshops with stakeholders that cover the key areas in the facility. Instead of just asking or telling the organization what technologies to use, our workshops are designed to help the stakeholders make informed and future-looking technology decisions. We refer to these meetings as “Day in the Life” reviews that examine various use cases, workflows, processes and technologies that can improve the life of a patient, nurse, doctor or family member.
We approach the projects with a blank slate and emphasize that the stakeholders focus on workflow and communication rather than specific technologies, we anticipate the technologies themselves may change (sometimes more than once) before the building opens.
Focusing on Day One
During our technology visioning sessions, we focus on what the technology will do in the hospital on Day One and on our best-informed guess for the direction and pace of the impacts of future technology. This is a critical step to design the technology infrastructure to be both flexible and future-proof.
We base our recommendations for each possible technology system both for Day One and future implementation on clearly defined and recognized goals to improve environments and work processes for patients, visitors, physicians, nurses and other staff and support the enterprise vision of the organization.
Following the Concept of Last Responsible Moment
We also follow the concept of “Last Responsible Moment” for technology infrastructure and systems in our projects. Since the technology infrastructure is an integral part of any healthcare facility, it must be designed in parallel with the rest of the building design because we want to be sure we ‘build the right building’ for the technology systems and unique building architecture.
Assuming an appropriate infrastructure can be developed with enough flexibility and capacity for future systems, this approach allows us to postpone decisions on cabling and, even more critically, the actual technology systems until later in the construction process. This Last Responsible Moment approach allows our clients to take advantage of the latest developments in technology, leverage cost reductions in more established systems and learn technology deployment lessons from other facilities that open before Day One of our project.
Our healthcare thought leaders, Principal Phil Crompton and Associate Alexis Diamond, contributed to this post.