Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 50

In Focus

2/5

tal number of beds supported. For a 120-bed
JUST AS A BENCHMARK
community hospital, 300,000 square feet
SHOULD ADJUST FOR
(2,500 square feet X 120 beds) may be the
sweet spot for enough programmed area to
THE TYPE OF FACILITY, IT
support each bed, without being oversized.
SHOULD ALSO VARY BASED
A 25-bed critical access hospital, however,
ON CULTURAL DIFFERENCES.
may need to be more efficient than a benchmark of 62,500 square feet to meet the costbased reimbursement models for Medicaid and Medicare. Similarly, a
380-bed teaching facility using this benchmark may not have enough
space per bed to support team rounding, consultations, and the provider work spaces necessary for both patient care and academics. So
how can we make benchmarking a less blunt, more meaningful tool
for any scale?
BENCHMARKING IN PRACTICE

Using the 2,500-square-feet-per-bed benchmark as an example, here
are eight things to consider when evaluating healthcare design benchmarks:

5

1

Operations. As noted previously, a
benchmark must take into account
functionality and an understanding
of how a space is intended to be used
from an operational perspective. For example,
a portion of the 2,500-square-foot-per-bed
benchmark includes materials management.
But if supplies are stored in an off-site warehouse, this requires less space than if a hospital is planning to store all materials on-site
(though the benchmark may need to factor in
space for staging and distribution). Registration is another good example: If bedside registration is implemented, the square footage for
a centralized registration department could be
reduced in the overall hospital benchmark.

6

Quantity versus quality. Facility benchmarks based
on area per KPU can be used to identify the appropriate
amount of space, but they rarely communicate the quality of space, a shortcoming that should be recognized up
front. For example, if the patient rooms are still semiprivate, the
overall appropriate amount of space may be accurate, but the quality of the patient experience might suffer. Other tools like parametric
modeling, which is a computer simulation that illustrates how several variables are related and interact with one another, can be incorporated to better articulate quality. To best understand the experience
of a patient in accessing natural light from the bed, benchmarking will
simply provide a number, such as area of window glazing per room,
while parametric modeling can compare designs based on multiple
facets, including area of windows as well as sill heights, solar orientation, and distance of the beds from the exterior wall.

2

Cultural variations. Just as a
benchmark should adjust for the
type of facility it represents, it should
also vary based on cultural differences. In the Middle East, gender separation
and duplication of spaces may affect the typical
benchmark but could be offset somewhat by a
ward arrangement. In the United States, some
areas of the country tend to experience larger
familial support needs for patients in the hospital, impacting the size of lobbies and waiting

7

Context. Are you using this square-foot-per-bed benchmark for an academic medical center or a community
hospital? Is the facility a for-profit model in a national
network or an independent not-for-profit in a community health system? Benchmarks should always be tied to comparable data sources. It isn't accurate to benchmark the support spaces
needed for residents by comparing a teaching facility with the needs
of a community hospital. Different models will benchmark differently, and the targets for the best practice benchmarks must adjust
accordingly.

3

J U N E /J U LY 2 01 7

4

Building era. The age of the facility can also impact benchmarks. A
modern facility is probably more efficient in utilizing space for current
operations than one built long ago. Therefore,
a renovation benchmark might be scaled back
from a new construction benchmark when
existing facility constraints, such as a small
column grid, make it impossible to reach bestpractice targets.

Space in the right place. If an area has "hit the target" in
terms of square footage, the space must be well designed
and fully functional, right? Actually, this is the number one
misconception of benchmarking. At such a high level, this
benchmark only indicates there might be enough space. It doesn't tell
us if the space is in the right places to be functional. For example, if sterile processing is a large area, but the operating rooms are small and antiquated, the functionality may be compromised-even if the surgery
department benchmark is right on target.

50

Apples to apples. Statistics can be
manipulated (intentionally or inadvertently) and benchmarks are
no different. If multiple facilities
are being compared, then the data that make
up the total square footage must be derived in
the same way. If one facility's area-per-KPU
number includes a central utility plant and
the others exclude it, then the benchmark is
not comparing apples to apples. If one hospital
runs semiprivate rooms and another facility is
all private, the total bed complement may be
the same, but the space needed per bed would
vary significantly. The detailed composition of
the benchmark must be clear to ensure you're
comparing like entities.

HCDMAGAZINE.COM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - June/July 2017

Healthcare Design - June/July 2017
Contents
Editorial
Show Talk
Photo Tour
Pack Your Bags
First Look
Love Story
Starting Point
Process Improvement
Product Spotlight
The Center
Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Healthcare Design - June/July 2017
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 1
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Contents
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 4
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 5
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 6
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 7
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 8
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 11
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 12
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 13
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Photo Tour
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 15
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 16
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 17
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 18
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Pack Your Bags
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 20
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 21
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 22
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - First Look
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Love Story
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 25
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 26
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 27
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 28
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 29
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 30
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 31
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 32
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 33
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 34
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 35
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Starting Point
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 37
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 38
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 39
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 40
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 41
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 42
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Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 44
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 45
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 46
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 47
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 48
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Process Improvement
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 50
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 51
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 52
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 53
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - Product Spotlight
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 55
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 56
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 57
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - The Center
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 59
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 60
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 61
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 62
Healthcare Design - June/July 2017 - 63
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