At WSP, we understand that the need for healthcare providers to secure value from their premises and their buildings’ infrastructure has never been greater. Across the globe, demand for healthcare services is increasing as populations age, while the costs of those services are rising as treatments advance.
Adding Value to Every Project
Our aim as a specialist consultant is to add value at every stage of a project from conception to completion, and to contribute to the wellbeing of the building’s end-users. At Dell’s Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas we engineered a building that optimizes heat recovery, ventilation and lighting design, which resulted in a net cut of projected energy use greater than 40%. The hospital was the first in the world to achieve Platinum LEED for Healthcare accreditation.
Our experts are taking Information Communication Technology (ICT) trends further than ever, creating converged secure networks and infrastructure that function together to drive excellence in workflow and patient care. We are at the forefront of smart hospital design, delivering intelligent building systems that facilitate the delivery of services, and improve communication between healthcare staff, patients and family members.
Demand for healthcare is increasing yet costs are rising. This challenge, for healthcare providers, means effective resource management is more important than ever. Clients rely on our ability to reduce hospital operational costs by focusing on energy consumption and use of space. We produce sustainable buildings that minimize waste while maximizing efficiency.
From design conception to delivery and future development, our aim is to create buildings that perform across their whole lifecycle. This approach takes into account everything from the design of the building envelope to the use of low embodied carbon building materials requiring minimal travel distance. We consider the threats and opportunities that the future may hold, from evolving technology and changing patient demographics, to extreme weather and disaster scenarios.
Our overall aim is to minimize the carbon footprint of a complex and highly demanding building that never has downtime. By doing so, we deliver to the community key amenities that meet a wider environmental health aim of reducing carbon emissions and pollutants. This contributes not only to an improved end-user experience but to the promotion of wellbeing across the whole community.
Energy is the life force of a hospital, underpinning all functions. The uninterrupted flow of energy, which can cope with surges in demand, is fundamental to a high-performance hospital. And an energy-efficient hospital means that more resources are available for frontline, clinical services.
We excel at creating state-of-the-art hospitals that maximize building users’ comfort while performing to an exacting criterion of energy efficiency. We enhance the energy efficiency of existing hospitals too by installing systems that use the latest technologies to create significant cost savings.
We can tailor the design of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to the exact requirements of a healthcare provider to boost efficient energy generation and recycle waste products. We look into the details to deliver energy savings wherever the potential arises, such as through the use of intelligent lighting systems that can respond to, and even predict, building users’ need for light.
Our ability to produce tangible energy savings has led many of our schemes to receive environmental certifications, such as LEED, BREEAM, Miljöbyggnad and Green Mark.
Technology – Revolutionizing Hospital Design
Communication technology is revolutionizing hospital design and we understand that technology is the key to managing increasing demand for health services with scarce resources.
Healthcare buildings typically contain multiple systems spanning everything from lighting control and fire alarms, to record keeping, nurse call and blood pressure monitoring. By uniting all these systems on a single platform, the exchange of information between medical staff, patients and facilities managers is sped up dramatically, creating a plethora of potential efficiency gains. Hospital staff spend less time on administration, while resources are freed up to re-direct to core services. Patients are also given access to smartphone applications which provide information, from their medication schedule to the doctors on duty.
The opportunities presented by technology for efficiency savings are extensive and range from more automated processes and improved patient monitoring fuelled by data management, to minimizing wait and walking times, and building energy usage. Smart technology also has the potential to enable remote healthcare, reducing patient visits to hospitals and empowering people to influence their treatment.
Predicting how buildings and their resources will be used over time is another key trend in healthcare that is informing our approach to the design and development of future-ready ICT systems.
Wellbeing of Patients and Staff
Ultimately, the aim of any high-performance hospital is to promote wellbeing. A pleasant, light and airy indoor environment is critical to patient and staff satisfaction. Evidence shows that access to fresh air and greenery aides the healing process. Contact and closeness to loved ones is a key contributor to patients’ overall wellbeing, as well as privacy and reduced noise levels, especially at night.
It is necessary to balance designing an open and welcoming space for the public as well as a controlled environment to reduce the spread of infection. Effective airborne infection control is a vital element to achieving good clinical outcomes.
By harnessing advances in ICT, we are helping to create software systems that provide patients with more control over their hospital stay and care givers better insight and immediacy into patient conditions for improved outcomes.
The welfare and wellbeing of care staff are likewise of paramount concern in a high-performance hospital. A positive environment will help attract and retain the best staff and medical experts, while a hospital design that responds to care givers’ needs delivers a better work environment. Elements like reduced walking distances for nurses and doctors, free up time to spend with patients and administer care.