This was originally published as a “Guest Blog Post” at www.InterOPERANT.com on April 9, 2012
Posted by Ron Smith, President/CEO, design at the intersection, LLC
I just watched a wonderful video about an innovative Operating Suite at Bruges Saint John General Hospital that uses an “open theater landscape” concept. In the intro to the video, VK Architects make the provocative statement that over time architecture seems to become “dangerous” because it is “a static reality… a temporary answer to a question from the past”.
Well, it’s true… “Change Happens”. And in a complex system like a healthcare facility it is challenging enough for a design team to know if a design solution will provide the organization with a platform for high performance. But even more so, what happens when a building is completed and occupied, and the organization changes how it works – or technology changes how information is accessed and shared?
I’m delighted to be teaming up in strategic partnership with Don Lyons and InterOPERANT. Together InterOPERANT and Design At the Intersection, LLC have the knowledge and commitment to guide organizations through change with sustainable solutions.
Design for Healthcare ultimately involves three “domains”..
- Architecture is part of the solution.. Designing Space
- Care Delivery is another part of the solution… Designing Workflow
- Health IT is another part of the solution…. Designing Connectivity and Access to Information
Said another way, a Human Organization lives and works in the Space, and is connected by Data. Design At The Intersection is all about knowing the important relationships among these three, collaboratively evaluating those in the context of whatever change issue is on the table, and setting design criteria with measurable outcomes in all three “domains” based on that knowledge. And then keeping the important relationships ‘on the radar’ during design, modeling, simulations, prototyping and even into activation and occupancy, so that the inevitable and necessary changes in one domain can be made with knowledge of the design intent of the whole system.
A direct application of this is in Designing for Patient Safety where the healthcare system has many inherent latent conditions (holes and weaknesses) that interact in complex ways and result in adverse events (Reason, 2000). Check out this article in Healthcare Design Magazine on a workshop that I participated in last October on this topic. I welcome your comments here.
Ron Smith, President/CEO of Design At The Intersection, LLC