In the most recent issue of Health Facilities Management, Mike Pukszta, Director of CannonDesign’s Health Practice, offers insights into one of the hottest topics in healthcare design right now – microhospitals. Extensively quoted in two articles, “Microhospitals can help to raise system profiles” and “Regulations affecting microhospital design,” Mike shares his thoughts on design strategies and the regulatory landscape.
Both articles can be found in the HFM July 2017 digital edition or in print for subscribers.
“Anyone seeking health care is probably seeking it for a serious reason,” says Mike. “Design solutions that are elegant and beautiful and build a level of confidence in the people who are arriving” can be accomplished at almost any scale, he says. “It doesn’t have to be large to be competent.”
The intimacy of a smaller building can be beneficial to creating a comforting health care environment, Pukszta notes. In healthcare design, “you’re always trying to make it feel a little more human, and at a massive scale, that’s sometimes hard to do,” he says.
Lessons learned in the design of small regional cancer centers are informing CannonDesign’s approach to microhospital design. “The cancer centers we do tend to be very serious, but often at a smaller scale. We’re taking those same perspectives to [microhospital] facilities as well,” says Pukszta.
For systems with a less well-defined architectural brand, the design can represent the values of the organization, so the facility is “consistent with the mission of the institution,” says Pukszta.
No states have defined a ‘microhospital’ as a separate building type, says Mike. “You have a whole series of codes and regulations that you have to follow for a hospital, but sometimes you’re slightly off the menu when you do one of these.”
While he emphasizes that in “the states where we’ve done them, we’ve found a fair amount of flexibility,” Pukszta says microhospital projects have several unique characteristics and “understanding some of those regulatory requirements is key.”