Fierce Healthcare-Hospital Impact: Despite Constraints, Innovation is Necessary in Hospital Design

by Jun Gang | When I think about innovation within strict regulations in construction and design requirements, I think about how pressure, restrictions and even episodic moments in time have caused great innovation to happen.

If you look back at World War II, for example, the country turned to innovation to address major challenges, resulting in Radar Detection and Ranging (RADAR), Sound Detection and Ranging (SONAR), nuclear power, computer advancements, synthetic rubber, jet engines, underlying technology for multitrack recording, penicillin and more.

Pictured is a hybrid operating room at one of the hospitals Petra ICS works with. The Siemens C-Arm that is mounted on a robotic arm is the same robotic arm that is used to build BMW automobiles, an example of taking ideas from other industries. Image: The Innovation Institute

When innovation takes place, we see markets shift to compensate and compete. When Amazon stepped in with a new way to shop, others followed with online shopping platforms. When Uber dared to introduce a competitor for transportation, others took notice to invent similar programs.

In healthcare construction and design, we look for ways to stand out from others through diligence and innovation, but we know that we will always be challenged by the fact that we must work within our industry’s strict code requirements. That only makes us try harder—just like when a war threatens a nation, or when an inventor creates a new norm that threatens a product or company’s existence.

Our challenge today in healthcare design and construction is that we need to be experts at flexibility to better serve changing health systems. Therefore, the whole idea of modular construction, prefabrication or lean-type construction is very appealing. More…