As indicated in a healthcare design article, when planning a new medical facility, it's important that equipment planning is considered at an early stage. This is necessary so that the planner can work together with the architect, interior designer and space planner to ensure that the right equipment is specified and adequate space is provided for the equipment, the medical staff who will operate the equipment and the patients who will be at the center of it all.
Early Needs Identification
The primary purpose of a medical facility is to treat patients effectively and in such a manner that the patient's experience is positive. To facilitate this, a needs analysis should be performed even before the architect starts laying out the facility. Topics covered should include the treatment to be offered, patient volume and the size of the medical staff, all in an effort to meet the triple aim of reducing the cost of care, improving the quality of care being provided and enhancing the patient experience.
Once this is completed, the equipment planner can assess the equipment that's needed for the facility. Working together, the team would specify space requirements, provisionally size the treatment rooms, assess utility requirements and plan the facility layout by drawing on their expert knowledge.
Careful attention needs to be given to the center's ergonomics. This must be approached from several perspectives, taking into consideration the interaction between patients and staff. Features to consider include the patient reception area, waiting rooms and equipment planning in treatment rooms. Equally, the needs of the medical staff, such as workspace layout, physical requirements and the provision of essential facilities and restrooms must be considered.
Streamlining the Workflow
By determining the overall requirements of the center at the start of the project, the risk of having to make unplanned alterations due to unforeseen circumstances is significantly reduced. This means that the workflow can be streamlined, interruptions minimized and the risk of disruptions causing delayed completion can be reduced.
Lower Overall Cost
The benefit of conducting a thorough needs analysis, involving all key disciplines right at the beginning of the project, is realized by a lower overall cost. Benefits arising from this approach include:
- Selection of the most appropriate equipment
- Provision of adequate space
- Ability to compare cost-benefits of different solutions
- Fewer costly alterations during the project
- Less lost time with lower construction costs
Medical equipment planning entails more than just finding the right equipment, managing multiple equipment vendors, receiving the equipment and getting it installed. There are substantial benefits from utilizing the medical planner's knowledge and expertise from the beginning to ensure the right medical equipment is specified and that the facility design complements the equipment requirements to ultimately provide a positive patient experience.
To understand more about the role the medical equipment planner plays, download our Medical Equipment Planner's Checklist and see how early involvement makes the difference.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.