Bloomberg: Redesigning health buildings for future pandemics

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October 27, 2022

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Bloomberg has published a new piece focused on how designers are reimagining healthcare spaces to be better prepared for future pandemics and black swan events. The article features a look at our work with UC Health on its new emergency department and commentary from our Brian Silva.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, designing a traditional emergency department didn't usually involve planning for a pandemic on a huge scale, Brian shared with Bloomberg. However, after COVID, health systems are recognizing they need spaces that can better serve their communities in these types of emergencies.

Now, UC Health is constructing an emergency department that can be easily switched to "pandemic mode," which includes a separate entrance, triage space and treatment area for patients that may have respiratory illness.

The hospital is also building a so-called alternate-care site, a separate area that can accommodate even more patients in the event of a pandemic or mass emergency. When it’s not being used for emergencies, the area can be used for other purposes, including as a public event space. The project is expected to be completed in full by 2024.

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UC Health and other health systems are increasingly seeking ways to make their spaces more flexible to support emergency preparedness and maximize investment when it comes to the design of their buildings.