The world has been markedly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when life begins to take on some sense of normalcy, whenever that may be, the global public health crisis we are facing right now will leave a permanent mark on our collective conscience.
How we go about designing and building medical and health facilities will also forever be changed by this pandemic. In fact, we are already seeing some of the effects. Hospitals have quickly reconfigured their units to isolate COVID-19 patients. Services for less acute medical needs have been transitioned to off-site locations and a spike in tele-medicine points to an increased demand for virtual health care services (for more on how COVID-19 is affecting Florida AHCA projects, be sure to read this post).
Entering a New Era for Medical Builds
Following the events of 9/11, we saw a change in the way medical facilities were designed and constructed. For example, hospitals newly built or renovated following the terrorist event were designed to better respond to crisis events by incorporating a flexibility to expand bed count or easily convert units to serve other needs. Those hospitals that adapted post-9/11 have been better able to service the need right now.
The construction results of this pandemic will likely be similar. Being able to quickly respond to a crisis – and have the capacity and flexibility to easily accommodate an influx of patients – is essential to saving as many lives as possible during an outbreak or pandemic.
And it all starts with smart design and efficient execution. Details matter immensely. With the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing viral transmission is essential, and that means getting things right from the start in future builds, including thinking through important isolation factors like ensuring separate air handler units and air filtration systems to prevent cross-contamination, for example.
From small build details to larger infrastructure needs, reimagining how medical facilities are constructed will be important to responding to future needs. And while we can’t predict when the next crisis event will occur, we can and should prepare – starting today.
At Seacoast Construction, we have the commercial construction experience to ensure those in our community have the facilities they need to stay healthy no matter what comes our way. To learn more about how we can help, please get in touch anytime.
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