A building’s infrastructure is fundamental to its ability to serve its intended purpose; whether it’s a commercial office space, warehouse, or residential building, the infrastructure of a building plays a crucial role in its functionality. This is especially true for healthcare facilities, where all aspects of the environment must be reliable and efficient to ensure safe, comfortable, and practical conditions.
In commercial buildings, poor infrastructure can lead to decreased employee productivity, visitor dissatisfaction, and even lost revenue during downtime and repairs. For hospitals, a poorly functioning infrastructure can mean the difference between life and death for ill individuals. For example, a dysfunctional HVAC system can lead to poor air quality, thereby threatening the health of inhabitants as well as decreasing staff productivity. Plumbing problems can cause leaks or flooding, damaging equipment and giving rise to mold growth. Electrical issues can result in safety hazards, fires, and damage to electronics– the consequences of which can be dire.
On the other hand, a well-planned and maintained facility can significantly enhance a building’s efficiency, safety, and longevity. For example, upgrading older plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems can improve functionality and increase energy efficiency, leading to significant cost savings. In addition, intelligent building management systems, such as smart thermostats and lighting, can optimize building performance by monitoring and adjusting energy usage based on occupancy and other factors.
This project Talisen completed for Emblem Health at Elmhurst Medical Center featured updated mechanical, engineering, and plumbing systems (MEPs) and a brand-new building management system (BMS).
What to Consider When Upgrading Inpatient & Outpatient Facilities
Ambulatory and inpatient healthcare facility managers and owners constantly strive to provide the best possible environment for patients and staff. Upgrading these facilities is necessary to ensure that these spaces remain functional, efficient, and up-to-date with the latest technology and safety standards. However, these upgrades can be complex and challenging, requiring careful planning and consideration of numerous factors.
Ambulatory and inpatient healthcare facilities encompass various types of spaces, such as hospitals, exam and surgical facilities, medical centers, surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, and community health centers or neighborhood care spaces. Naturally, there are universal considerations that apply to every healthcare build, as well as specific challenges that apply to each type of facility.
Talisen’s work on Northwell Health’s Lynbrook location featured exam spaces, a complete overhaul of the previous mechanical system, a building extension complete with new vertical transportation, and added parking.
Universal Considerations for Healthcare Facility Upgrades
Key considerations to make for all healthcare upgrades:
Continuity of Care
- Healthcare facilities are busy and complex environments with many moving parts, and any disruption can have severe consequences. Contractors and facility management teams should work together to prepare a comprehensive plan that minimizes disruptions to patient care and staff operations. Some essential aspects include identifying high-priority areas that require upgrades, patient volume management, temporarily relocating services to another part of the facility or a different facility, and staff training and education.
- Patient privacy is a significant concern in healthcare facilities, as it directly impacts patient satisfaction, trust, and the outcome of care. Upgrades can include private patient rooms, soundproofing solutions, and secure areas for confidential discussions between patients and healthcare providers.
This project Talisen completed at Community Healthcare Network’s Lower East Side center was built with privacy in mind using:
- A reception area that offers separation of space from the care rooms
- Frosted glass partitions
- Eight private exam rooms and a private conference room
- Lockers for personal safekeeping
- A separate lounge and restroom for staff
- Accessibility is crucial in healthcare facilities to ensure that all patients, including those with disabilities, can easily navigate and be cared for on the premises during and after upgrades. Upgrades can include features such as ramps, wider doorways, and accessible restrooms. Facility owners should also consider the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines when planning upgrades.
Talisen’s work at Northwell Health – DAEHRS called for several ADA-compliant toilets and an ADA-compliant lift.
- Healthcare facilities have strict regulations and guidelines that must be followed during upgrades. Adhering to these regulations should be a priority throughout the entire renovation process. Compliance requirements may be related to federal, state, or local requirements, and non-compliance could result in penalties, fines, or even suspension of the facility’s operating license.
- Upgrading healthcare facilities must prioritize security to protect patients, staff, and sensitive information. Facility owners typically consider incorporating advanced security systems such as access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection. Additionally, proper planning and implementation of security measures during construction or renovation can minimize risks and ensure a smooth transition.
- Infection prevention is critical in healthcare settings to protect both patients and staff. Facility upgrades incorporate advanced materials and technologies that minimize the spread of illness and infection, such as antimicrobial surfaces, proper ventilation systems, and efficient waste disposal systems.
- Balancing budget constraints with the need for high-quality facilities can be challenging. Determining which upgrades are essential and which are not can make a significant difference in managing the budget. An experienced and knowledgeable contractor can help prioritize, plan, and budget for the upgrade, ensuring facility owners get the most from their budget and maximize the upgrade’s efficiency.
Specific Challenges by Facility Type
In addition to the considerations described above, every type of healthcare space presents its own unique set of challenges to overcome. Some of the most significant challenges to keep in mind for each type of facility include:
- Upscaling security, upgrading infrastructure to accommodate current and future technologies, maintaining regulatory compliance, and working in limited spaces during the renovation.
- Adhering to strict regulatory compliance during surgical operations, creating a sterile environment while remaining cost-effective and efficient, and upgrading technology.
This project for Island Eye Surgicenter called for sanitation facilities, processing and administrative areas, six operating rooms, top-of-the-line HVAC and insulation systems, energy-efficient lighting, and solar panels.
- Accommodating new technology, upgrading safety infrastructure, maintaining a secure environment, and integrating the facility infrastructure with other healthcare providers
Our work at Northwell Health – Bay Shore Cardiology & STARS called for a hybrid build that included both a cardiology suite with a designated area for medical procedures approved by New York State’s Department of Health (DOH) and a space for Northwell’s sports medicine program dedicated to physical therapy, rehabilitation, and training.
- Ensuring HIPAA compliance, maintaining cleanliness and sterility of equipment and facility, reducing downtime during the upgrade process, and ensuring the upgrade accommodates all types of medical equipment.
Community Health Centers
- Planning and designing the upgrade project with the community’s input, keeping the facility operational during the renovation, accommodating different medical specialties’ unique needs, and complying with relevant health and safety regulations
The Talisen Advantage
Addressing these challenges in an upgrade or renovation can be complex and require thorough planning and implementation, so it’s crucial to work with an experienced and specialized construction company capable of handling such upgrades and renovations to ensure success.
At Talisen Construction, we understand the complexities of upgrading ambulatory and inpatient facilities and are committed to providing solutions that address each space’s unique needs. Our expertise in ambulatory and inpatient facility upgrades ensures every project is completed on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption to facility operations.
Our approach includes the following:
- Collaborative planning with facility teams to identify priorities, develop customized solutions, and ensure continuity of care for patients and staff
- A focus on safety, ensuring all construction activities adhere to the highest safety standards
- Value based one-point-of-contact project management, which emphasizes cost-effectiveness without compromising quality
- Utilizing our extensive network of industry partners to source the best materials and technologies for each facility’s needs
By choosing Talisen Construction for your healthcare facility upgrade, you can be confident that you will receive exceptional service, innovative solutions, and a commitment to pursuing perfection that sets us apart from the competition. Start the conversation today to learn how we can help you transform your ambulatory or inpatient facility into a state-of-the-art healthcare environment.