Delivering a vision from start to finish
In an extract from a recent interview for the Global Opportunity Healthcare publication, MJ Medical Director Danny Gibson discusses key aspects of MJ Medical’s approach to health planning
MJ Medical’s approach to healthcare planning ensures the aspirations communities and care providers have for their new hospitals are delivered, says Danny Gibson, Technical Director
MJ Medical’s service offering is split into three component parts – health service planning, health facility planning and equipment procurement. With a small and integrated team, one of the key benefits they deliver is a comprehensive understanding of the entire healthcare facility development process. “We work extremely hard at integrating our systems and sharing knowledge across our teams; this means that, even when we are engaged to deliver one discreet aspect of our service offering, our client benefits from our team’s knowledge of the other aspects. When developing initial design briefs, we are able to consider the inside knowledge gained from our procurement works of horizon technologies that have implications for future infrastructure requirements. When undertaking equipment planning and procurement, we naturally sense check clinical layouts and functional relationships. These additional inputs are not ‘priced-in’; they are a natural outcome of the expertise in our team, and a company culture and identity that is focused above all else on realising the highest possible quality outcome for the projects we work on”.
Aiding market entry
MJ Medical has recently seen an upsurge in healthcare providers exploring and expanding into new markets in other parts of the world. This is a product of the continued growth in demand for all types of healthcare services, and an increasing desire for people in fast developing countries to be able to access high quality and complex services without having to travel. The issues for a provider entering a new geographical and cultural setting are extensive, not least the local norms and expectations around how care is delivered and the design and feel of hospitals.
“Many of our recent projects have involved helping a healthcare provider enter a market which is completely new to them”, says Danny. “This represents a unique set of challenges, not least in coordinating a client, design team, and project location across several different continents. The provider is attempting to introduce their brand and way of doing things into a new market. However, they also need to take into account the local cultural factors and really understand patient’s expectations when developing their model of care. To complicate matters further, clinical staff may be recruited globally and have a completely different approach to delivering care. The healthcare provider will most likely be looking for internationally recognized accreditation, that again will have its own, and potentially conflicting, operational requirements”.
“We have found that our experience of designing healthcare facilities around the world make us very capable at finding the points of compromise between these potentially conflicting approaches. We have a really good understanding of different models of care, and the varying design codes that are in use. We use this knowledge and experience to help our clients determine which combination of approaches will deliver the optimum solution”.
Ensuring a useful and efficient lifespan
From project inception to doors opening, the process of designing and building a major healthcare facility can take 10 years or more. It then has a lifespan of at least 30 years. The pace of change in medical technology and clinical best practice means that, unless the right decisions are taken early on, you can end up very quickly with an obsolete building delivering care in an outdated way. “We invest a lot in research and development, working hard to stay at the forefront of how care is changing and what medical technologies are on the horizon”, says Danny. “We want a building to be delivering the same level of care in year 30 than it is in year one. In order to do that you need to make it efficient and adaptable to future needs”.
A shared vision
“Developing a shared vision at the outset across all stakeholders as to what is important for a new healthcare building is paramount for a successful project”, says Danny. “This might sound simplistic, but when you’re dealing with a wide perspective of stakeholders – the provider, clinicians, architects, patients – objectives and priorities differ and, at times, are competing. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard when you are establishing the project vision. That way you get buy-in to a set of core principles which then go on to guide the project development process”.
“Furthermore, it’s important to get the community involved, by taking time to understand their needs and expectations and ensuring they stay informed” Gibson concludes. “At the end of the day, a good hospital should not just be a transactional environment where people go to receive a service. It should play a central role in the community by supporting families through happy and difficult times, and providing security that someone will be there to help when you need it most. That, more than anything, makes ensuring they are as good as they can possibly be worthwhile”.
To read the full article click here: http://globalopportunityhealthcare.com/2017/01/global-opportunity-healthcare-2017/