The hospital is the most regulated and one of the most complex of all buildings in the construction sector. A hospital building comprises several functional units tailored to specific services such as hospitality, diagnosis and treatment, in-patient care, and administrative functions.
As a hospital construction contractor, it is your responsibility to ensure that the prescribed standards and best practices are adhered to when building a hospital regardless of the location, size, and the number of its functional units.
Here are 5 top regulations you should keep in mind when constructing a hospital:
- Provision Of A Therapeutic Environment Is Crucial
Loneliness, fear, and confinement are some of the factors that make a hospital environment more stressful for patients, and they may hinder quick recovery. The use of appropriate, cheerful colors in the interior is highly recommended but note that some colors can distress the staff and patients. The building should also allow for the entry of sufficient natural light where possible. Otherwise, install appropriate lighting in the interior. Ensure that the environment less stressful by making the spaces easy for patients, staff, and visitors to find and use.
- Efficient And Cost-Saving Spaces
Even as contractors look into building hospital spaces to accommodate patients, equipment, and staff, it is wise to come up with cost-effective and efficient layouts. Distances between areas frequently used by staff should be small. Save on space by combining functional units with similar requirements and ensure that there are no redundant spaces in the building.
Additionally, constructors should install efficient logistics systems such as manual or automatic carts, elevators, and pneumatic chutes to allow for efficient handling of supplies, food, and trash. Closely related functional units such as the operating theatre and the surgical intensive care unit should be adjacent to each other.
- The Design Should Allow For Controlled Movements
Hospitals are characterized by the constant flow of goods and people, and this is a significant factor to consider when putting up a hospital building. Out-patients pathways should be defined and the visitors’ routes should direct them to the nursing units without causing distractions to other units in the building. The movement of clean supplies and food should be on a separate path from that of soiled materials and trash. The inflow and outflow materials should also be separated from the visitors’ and patients’ pathways. Additionally, the transfers of cadavers to and from the morgue should not be seen by the visitors and patients.
- Implementation Of the Appropriate Security And Safety Measures
The implementation of security and the safety measures during construction of a hospital requires electrical, structural, and mechanical expertise. A qualified electrical technician should be able to design and coordinate the installation of comprehensive security and lighting systems in the building. Necessary structures and systems should be put in place to protect the hospital assets and property, including drugs, motor vehicles, machines, etc.
The control of unstable or psychotic and violent patients, as well as the safety of the patients and the staff is essential aspects to consider in hospital construction. The construction should be durable enough and up-to-standards to span several years and also mitigate damage from potential terror attacks and natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding.
- Cleanliness And Sanitation Are Critical Aspects
The use of safe materials in the construction of health centers is a statutory requirement. Hence, you might want to do away with lead-based and asbestos materials. Additionally, consider installing antimicrobial surfaces in the right spaces and ensure that housekeeping facilities are accessible and sufficient. Provision of adequate water, bathing facilities, and toilets accompanied by optimized sewage and drainage facilities are also fundamental aspects to consider when establishing a hospital.
Hospital design and construction is an intensive process that requires the involvement and supervision by highly trained and experienced contractors. Most importantly, contractors should ensure that all codes and standards are adhered to in all phases of construction. A well-constructed hospital is clean, safe, efficient, cost-saving, and has seamless and controlled movements to and from various functional units.