by Linda G. Miller
Event: Acoustical Design & Audiovisual Planning for Healthcare Facilities
Location: Hafele Showroom, 08.18.10
Speakers: James Perry — Principal, Director Healthcare Services, Cerami & Associates; Alan Bjornsen — Principal, Group Director, Audiovisual Technologies, Cerami & Associates; Allan Katz — President, VTS Medical Systems
Organizer: AIANY Health Facilities Committee
A good patient experience is the over-arching goal of hospital administrators. But in addition to finding ways to improve patient satisfaction while keeping costs down, architects and engineers working in the health facility sector are also faced with the challenge of planning for new technologies.
The demand for Hybrid Operating Rooms is increasing, for example. A Hybrid OR contains both surgical and imaging equipment. They fulfill two requisites: a higher level of patient care and cost efficiency. They also allow cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists to work side-by-side on the same patient.
Hybrid ORs require collaborative space planning by medical personnel and designers. Workflow becomes a major issue due to the interdisciplinary usage of these rooms, given that ways to accommodate people and equipment are unique to each discipline. With the technology that is available today, ORs are now used for documenting procedures, real-time conferencing for teaching purposes, and telemedicine — which brings consulting specialists into the OR from other locations.
Other advancements come in the form of noise control. “Acoustics is a big part of patient happiness,” stated James Perry, director of healthcare services at Cerami & Associates. All too often patients complain that noise has disrupted sleep and relaxation. New strategies to mitigate noise pollution include better-insulated walls and underlayments; sound-absorptive design materials and finishes, and noise diminishing ceiling treatments.
“Acoustics and audiovisual technology in healthcare facilities have undergone tremendous growth in recent years,” exclaimed Perry. “It’s exciting to see how our work helps medical facilities and medical professionals better perform. It helps create a more effective healing environment for patients.” Planning for the future depends on laying the proper groundwork, installing appropriate future-ready infrastructure, and learning from the past.
Linda G. Miller is a NYC-based freelance writer and publicist, and a contributing editor to e-Oculus and OCULUS.