Today’s medical office faces numerous challenges from attracting patients and staff to decreased reimbursements. It is vitally important that healthcare facilities are able to utilize LEAN business operations—key to producing adequate revenue—while also providing patients and caregivers with the amenities they desire in a warm and welcoming healing environment.
Through intensive master planning sessions with MidMichigan Medical Center—Gladwin we designed a modern and comforting medical office building using biophilic (an innate desire humans have for connecting to nature and recent studies that link this connection to improved healing and wellness) design principles. The new clinic also allows for multi-specialty collaboration (utilizing their continuum of care model) and an enhanced, efficient staff workflow with on- and off-staging areas. The new facility in Gladwin also provided the health system with an innovative approach to medical office space by preparing for future changes and services through forecasting those needs and designing a building to accommodate those changes and additions. Additionally, the innovative design and planning process has provided MidMichigan with an easily replicated and branded model they can use in each of the communities they serve.
The Gladwin medical office building opened in August and is providing primary and urgent care services to its community in its modern, highly efficient, collaborative, and beautiful patient-centered facility. Its sister facility, located in Bay City, opened at the end of September. The two clinics advance the brand of their medical office spaces and will stand as bastions of health and care in their communities.
For more information about the impact nature has on wellness and today’s work environment, we recommend reading The Healthy Office Revolution by Elizabeth Nelson. We had the opportunity to work on a presentation with Elizabeth last fall and learned a great deal about how her research can impact healing environments in addition to the office setting.
Life safety drawings are an important piece of the Joint Commission—as well as other accrediting organizations such as the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), DVN GL, and Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP)—survey which determines a facility’s compliance with the Life Safety Code NFPA 101. It is important that the drawings clearly and accurate depict any changes to the facility (i.e., additions, department changes, renovations, etc.) and identify suite boundaries, hazard areas (per NFPA), smoke barriers and compartments, linen trash chutes, and all rated barriers.
“Accurate and complete life safety floor plans are required to be available at the time of any survey conducted by The Joint Commission in order for the organization’s facilities to be effectively evaluated. The concept is to have a comprehensive document that consolidates all construction phases of the facility over its history, to allow for LSC compliance through maintenance strategies, identification of deficiencies, inspection and training.” —The Joint Commission (a non-profit organization that ensures that all required safety measures of health care facilities are met)
The advantages of accurate LS drawings include a possible reduction of fire dampers requiring inspections, barrier management, and fire door testing/repairs thus saving your facility time and money. Inaccurate or out-of-date drawings, however, may result in a survey finding under LS.01.01.01 statement of conditions and cause unnecessary work, result in an unsafe facility, or cause a failure to maintain required elements all of which could result in fines and fees in addition to addressing the findings.
Are you prepared for your next survey? Do you have findings from a recent survey that need to be addressed? Give Curt Penny a call or drop him an email to find out how we can help.
Some of our life safety projects include:
Our engineers are a key component to the success of all of our projects and providing our clients with the RIGHT SOLUTION. With the team’s experience and expertise in healthcare facility engineering—from central heating and cooling plants to large hospital additions, specialty rooms, and OR suites to portables—they provide solutions and trouble shoot issues for healthcare facilities in Michigan and around the country.
Meet our team (from left to right in the image above):