As per IMK architect – What Measures Can Be Adopted in Hospitals to Tackle the COVID Problem?

Date: 1 April 2021.

This pandemic is a wake-up call for the Indian healthcare system. While addressing the challenges faced by the existing hospital setups, Mr. Rahul Kadri – a top architect in India, gave away a few suggestions. A few of them are listed below:

The primary layer of healthcare
  • The initial course of action should be to reinforce the primary layer of healthcare in urban slums and rural areas and to offer preliminary remedial assistance.
  • Smaller, cost-effective primary healthcare centers and medical sub-centers can be set up as an initial shield in every village, with can further branch out to well-equipped specialty hospitals in every district to cater to the rural population from each of the district’s talukas. Such a system would help relieve the strain on healthcare infrastructure in the cities and help make it affordable to the masses.

The design of the current stock of healthcare facilities also needs to be looked at through the lens of disease control. Healthcare architects in India need to make the changes accordingly.

The better design alternative would be to segregate functions into multiple, separate building wings with reduced widths, and more buffer zones in between. This would:

  • aid natural cross-ventilation within indoor spaces,
  • reduce risk of infection,
  • increase the rate of air exchange,
  • avoid interference of services and maintenance areas with procedure areas,

Independent buildings would need to be zoned responsibly too. Functions need to be segregated within sections or floors by creating general, semi-sterile, and sterile zones (for example, waiting for areas to OPDs to ICUs).

New Model - Biophilia

Today, healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries globally. And as medications and technology change - there is a need to rethink on the model of healthcare design as well. It will help support health and overall wellbeing rather than simply treating illnesses.

One solution that shows promise is building designs on the theory of Biophilia. This concept seeks to connect buildings and occupants more closely to nature. For instance, maximized daylight, natural ventilation, view of the outdoors, green courtyards, and water bodies can create a more therapeutic environment for recovery.

The ongoing pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s health. In order to tackle this situation, healthcare architects in India need to adopt certain methods in their designing process. Moreover, healthcare architects need to consult with worldwide medical professionals to better understand the needs of hospitals in terms of their design and purpose. In short, it is clear that the new normal calls for new approaches in hospital building design and architecture.