Inpatient Care Environments COVID-19 Planning & Design Report

posted March 15th, 2021 in Acute Care

by E4H


As our communities begin to grab hold of the COVID-19 crisis, we have a rare opportunity to review current industry challenges and apply innovative thinking to design solutions that will best support current, and potentially future, threats within our healthcare systems. Medical experts agree that once a new and harmful virus is isolated, it could take up to 24 months before effective, proven vaccines and/ or therapies are available. A pandemic-causing disease is something that we may likely see again in the future. The time to strategize future solutions for our healthcare systems to best address these challenges is now.

Just as the tragic events of 9/11 transformed the design and operations surrounding airport security, we too must look for ways to re-imagine how we design healthcare spaces that continue to foster safety, promote health and wellbeing, and improve patient outcomes. We envision new protocols, workflow, and operations coupled with extensive safety guidelines to support future design strategies.

We are avid practitioners of Evidence-Based Design, however there is little design research or evidence from past viral epidemics, in particular, past pandemics. Designers are now conducting a new cascade of research and information gathering to determine and interpret what impact this global outbreak will have on healthcare design.

Much of what we do is driven by a series of directives and objectives with the goal of improving healthy outcomes. Our initial recommendations for addressing inpatient care spaces includes a new of approach to planning scenarios, FF&E and material selection, incorporating advanced technologies, and infrastructure design.


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