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Continued: Affordable Care Act will change the way hospitals are built, used

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 1, 2014 - 6:07 PM

Q: How does the ACA affect the use of current health care facilities and the construction of new ones?

A: Ninety-five percent thought a clinic or ambulatory facility with outpatient care would become more prominent in health care. That’s a real shift because the providers are saying we need to focus on outcomes, and the patients are saying we want to have an environment that is more like our home environment.

Q: So that’s a shift from a traditional hospital setting?

A: The model for a traditional hospital is a larger campus that has all kinds of care, including emergency, mother-baby, clinics. Now, more clinics and ambulatory facilities are being built. [For example,] you see that in the Twin Cities with the construction of the University of Minnesota’s Ambulatory unit.

Q: What sort of trends are you seeing in the design of new health care facilities?

A: There’s a shift toward creating a health care environment that is more like your home. So that means more natural light in waiting rooms, even in surgical suites. Ridgeview, Fairview and Allina all have this [in surgical suites].

Q: You mention “micro-hospitals” in the survey. What are they?

A: They’re micro environments centered around specialty clinics, [where] there’s less time waiting and fewer overnight visits, so there’s less cost.

Q: The survey indicates that technology will help influence hospital design. How so?

A: From a patient perspective, we need to better understand where we’re going in a facility. Hospitals are trying to help patients find their way around. In the old days, you’d park your car and then try to figure out how to get inside and where to go. Hospitals are putting more signage in, but technology can help by putting monitors in waiting rooms for those with a loved one in surgery, they can see if they’re in pre-op, surgery or post-op.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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