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Elgabaly on Site | Latest Progress on Construction Site of China Overseas Fuhuali!

By Tamer Elgabaly


Healthcare environments must balance the need to protect staff and patients with creating and maintaining a welcoming, restorative environment, especially as recent acts of violence at healthcare facilities, as well as an uptick in Covid-related stress and anxiety among patients have placed a renewed focus on caregiver safety. Here, we discuss design solutions that do both, from ambulatory care centers and patient floors to hospital entries and emergency departments. A version of this article was originally published in Forbes.

The ground floor is the first bastion of safety, with security that can range from more obvious (metal detectors) to less so (guards who serve as “ambassadors”). Because an overly aggressive security presence can be off-putting to patients and visitors, aim instead for measures that are “invisible.”
For example, upon entry, a welcoming yet secure check-in area provides an additional layer of safety. At Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, a unique entry experience featuring a series of dramatic outdoor archways leads to a shallow lobby and reception, creating a single controlled access point while creating a warm, beautiful first impression. Taking this idea one step further, a design that requires all visitors to flow through the ground floor with a security presence without allowing direct access from parking levels to patient care floors, or reducing the number of entry and egress points, also helps limit the flow of people into the building—though this is more difficult to execute in larger hospitals or on a sprawling campus.