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COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates value of flexible hospital space

Codes and Standards

COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates value of flexible hospital space

Some rooms being repurposed for ICU care.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | April 23, 2020

Courtesy Pixabay

The value of flexible hospital space is being demonstrated as administrators rush to increase the number of hospital ICU beds to meet the expected peak in COVID-19 cases.

In many states, regulations require treatment rooms to be different sizes depending on the stage of patient care being provided. Facilities may now be more likely to specify space for acuity-adaptable units that are designed to match the square footage of ICU rooms.

These rooms may not be fully outfitted for ICU capability immediately, but can be retrofitted later to fulfill that purpose. Programming for hospital designs currently in the works are more likely to include how an increased number of beds could be added during future pandemics or other emergencies.

Under extreme demand, spaces that may not have the required square footage under normal circumstances could be outfitted as treatment areas. Spaces such as conference rooms, dining rooms, and parking structures can be repurposed for medical care if suitable utility access is available.

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