Whether newly developed or adaptive reuse, these properties are a challenge to design for sustained efficiency in a rapidly growing and changing industry. The real estate aspect of the surgery center business model is interesting; it’s mostly about flow.
~ Patient Flow ~
Getting patients from the waiting room to pre-op to operating room (OR) to recovery is heavily impacted by the patient and his/her type of procedure. Pediatrics require more family involvement at all but OR stages, which takes room and staff time. Routine adult ophthalmic procedures, much less so.
~ Staff Flow ~
Business offices are located near the check in desk for a reason: heavy patient traffic benefits from proximate office staff assistance. Surgeon and nursing efficiency is enhanced by adequate areas for both computer and dictation work, and some of this space can be gained from rooms previously used for paper records storage.
~ Supply Flow ~
Cabinets in every OR were formerly regarded as great, but are now thought to impede accurate inventory and hide imbalances. Supplies are now concentrated in fewer, more open and centrally located areas. Moveable carts are also efficient for certain supplies.
~ Gurney Flow ~
These go from pre-op to OR to recovery, standing ready for the patient throughout the process, then they are cleaned and stored for the next use. Gurneys are not small, and adequate hallway widths and nooks to preclude traffic jams must be provided.
~ Operating Room Location Flow ~
The most difficult part of designing a surgery center, from an HVAC and sterility standpoint, is the placement of OR space, so these are usually concentrated in one building wing. Construction of these areas at the lot line is now avoided because that makes expansion of OR space much more costly.
As an Assessment Professional, you know current and future obsolescence lurks almost everywhere in these properties.