Interview highlights intelligent planning tools such as simulation modeling and parametric design.

A new online article and video from Diagnostic Imaging features Carlos Amato discussing the evolution of evidence-based design and the need for the use of more intelligent planning tools in Radiology Departments. The piece can be viewed and read online here: Evidence-Based Design in Radiology | Diagnostic Imaging.

Amato connected with Diagnostic Imaging at the 2015 RSNA conference in Chicago this past November. Below are key excerpts:


A CT scanner at Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center.

On Using “Soft Spaces” to Support Flexible Design

Amato stressed the importance of flexibility in the design of radiology departments and shared how soft spaces – for example, office space or functions that can be moved out of the way in the future without a major construction effort – can help achieve that. “For example, imagine you are building five MRI rooms and you want to make sure you can add a couple more later on,” explains Amato. “The spaces directly adjacent to the hardcore procedure rooms should be soft.”  Placing these soft spaces adjacent to more complex procedure spaces helps keep the design open-ended.

On Intelligent Planning Tools as a Necessary Compliment to Lean Design

Amato went on to explain how often times lean design strategies (e.g., value stream mapping, spaghetti diagrams) will be used independently of intelligent planning tools. According to Amato, this is the wrong approach, as it does not allow for objective study of how people will move and processes will play out in real time.  Simulation modeling, a data-driven virtual model that recreates real life time-related processes, and parametric design,  which can generate 3D planning diagrams based on an established set of parameters or criteria, are two such intelligent planning tools that are adding tremendous value to the design of healthcare spaces.

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A linear accelerator room with access to daylight at Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center.

On Bringing the Radiology Department Out of the Basement

Amato reflected on pushing some of the best practices that have come out of the evidence-based design movement into the radiology department including the use of natural light.  “The radiology department has often been in the basement.” Amato shared, “I have no idea why!”  The evidence-based benefits from access to natural light, such as reduced stress, can have a positive impact on the radiology department as well.


Read Carlos Amato’s reflections on his time at RSNA. 

Check out the Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center.

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