When we speak of altering our thought-processes to pro-actively address future challenges in facilities – without knowing what these challenges are – we are talking about
Flexibility. This approach is vastly different than reactive solutions based on known factors. How do we plan for what hasn’t been created or even thought of yet? When we are able to accommodate change based on numerous factors we are talking about Adaptability.
A recent Herman Miller research paper titled, “An Outlook for Learning – Views on the Future” lists some interesting predictions about the Future of Education. These predictions address challenges and opportunities that are presented by Globalization, Holistic Approaches, Experiential Learning, “Doing More with Less” and Technology. All of these factors are key to making long-term decisions about facilities. In Healthcare, a research paper called “Patient Rooms: A Changing Scene of Healing” talks about the need for flexibility in patient rooms because of the revolutionary change that is taking place in the field. Evidence-based medicine (or medicine based on science and research) is becoming increasingly important to hospitals because of changes in reimbursement. It is becoming more common that reimbursement is contingent of adhering to the science. The evidence and science tells professionals what produces the best patient outcomes. “A recent survey of healthcare architects, designers and consultants found that more than 80 percent sometimes or regularly used design research to make their decisions.”
In the past, when we addressed Attraction and Retention – we were speaking about corporations trying to attract and retain the best and brightest workers. Now the reality is that hospitals and clinics are competing for patients, schools are competing for students and faculty and long-term care facilities are competing for residents. What role does the facility play in attracting and retaining these targeted user groups? How does flexibility and adaptability accommodate for these predictions? How are Research, Evidence and Science changing healing facilities?
Intereum and Herman Miller have vast array of products and research to deal with this rapidly changing reality and to apply the concepts of Flexibility and Adaptability. Last year, you would hear us say phrases like, “Classroom of the Future” and “Patient Room of the Future” and “Clinic of the Future”. It is clear that with products like Compass, DIRTT Walls, Everywhere Tables that these solutions are no longer “of the Future”. Change is here. Flexibility and adaptability are necessary for long-term success and cost-effective facility planning.