Some of that consultation is related to adapting planned capital projects to new technology.
Consumer focus driving hospitals' construction and design, according to Modern Healthcare survey
BJC HealthCare in St. Louis recently opened two new towers at its Barnes Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, both of which are affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine, adding 185 and 80 private beds, respectively.
Patients at the children's hospital have access to views into rooftop gardens and can walk around the green space to relax.
The patient rooms also feature technology that allows patients to watch educational videos about their treatment and order meals through their TV. There's also a real-time tracking system that uses staff member badges to put a picture of the clinician on the TV when he or she walks in. If the room is ready to be cleaned, the tracking system will send an alert when it is finished and ready for a new patient.
"One of the challenges when designing in healthcare is that by the time something gets built, everything gets changed," said Donna Ware, executive director of planning and design at BJC. "We piloted new technology in existing nursing units to test and refine tools that add the most value and do so in a way that would be as painless as possible with our staff."
The construction industry is pushing providers in a new direction with burgeoning technology, Quirk said. Skanska is providing walk-throughs of digital mappings of their projects through virtual reality. This can save time and money when problems are caught early, he said.
One of Skanska's clients has patient rooms with sensors in the floors that alert staff when a person is walking around or has fallen. Another has installed radio-frequency ID tags on staff badges to see how long and frequently caregivers wash their hands.
"It's an exciting time," Quirk said. "The designs and products are starting to listen and adapt to today's technology."
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