• Libby Laguta, CHID, EDAC

Modularity in Healthcare

As the over 65 population ages, the demand for healthcare expands. Owners and operators of hospitals are struggling to keep up. Medical office buildings are in short supply in many areas of the US and as a result, modular buildings are becoming a quick and easy solution.

I remember when modular workstations were a new idea in office furnishings. It was a much-needed solution to the lack of space and the rising costs of leasing. I liken this to the need for affordable and fast options for medical office space. Suburban sites and convenient access to major hospital brands close to home dictate a need for modularity.

Just like the hospital staff designs protocols and standards of care, I believe standards for the physical modularity of the space are needed. By this I mean prefabricated parts and pieces assembled on site to meet a particular building size and configuration.

As communities grow, constituents demand access to care within the limits of their geographical area. The scale of the facility is based on how many patients are seen and processed. It may sounds like a factory, but truthfully, it is reality to think in terms of numbers and shear accessibility. Deficiencies in service areas can be addressed by telehealth. If a modular building location begins to see the need for a service such as orthopedics or rheumatology that is not currently offered, then a remote team is utilized by a telehealth platform.

Just as modular workstations provide more efficient square footage for planning people in a work space, prefabricated buildings afford more people access to healthcare within their day to day domains. This is quicker for the patient and by spending less than the cost of brick and mortar, hospitals and owners save on the physical building cost.


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