Does Flexibility Mean Over-Programmed?

Posted on July 16, 2010

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Recently I read the feature article in Healthcare Building Ideas’ Spring 2010 issue about a case study in “right-sizing” healthcare.  It focused on a project case study with a large Lean component.  Part of the article included these two sentences: 

“The current standard in healthcare design is to provide a completely flexible space that can accommodate any critical scenario.  This approach can result in over-programmed, excessive square footage rooms that have an extreme impact on the overall cost of the hospital.”

Do you agree?

In its “Supersizing Healthcare” presentation at the 2008 PDC healthcare conference, Kurt Salmon Associates brought forth the hard evidence of program bloat in healthcare room typologies; typical patient rooms have been growing for twenty years. No doubt square footage creep costs hospitals millions, and not just in first costs.

Thus in an effort to combat the growth and reel in construction costs, “right-sizing” was brought back into vogue, where room sizes are critically analyzed and put on a diet to fit the user, rather than the latest ‘industry standard’; ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ in healthcare was verboten.

The question remains, though: are flexibility and reasonable room sizes mutually exclusive?

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Posted in: Miscellaneous