Fast Company published an article by Andrew Ibrahim, MD, MSc, chief medical officer for HOK’s Healthcare practice and resident surgeon at the University of Michigan, summarizing his predictions for the future of healthcare.
Excerpted from Fast Company:
For the past month I’ve been fighting against COVID-19 on two front lines. The first has been in the hospital. I’m a surgeon, and though my background is in operations, I was recruited to provide intensive care to COVID-19 patients, like many of my fellow medical professionals. The other front line I’ve been working on is with my colleagues at the architecture and design firm HOK, as we work with healthcare leaders to figure out how to redesign medical facilities in the throes of a pandemic, and beyond.
These are three key questions we’ve been fielding and my predictions for the future of healthcare design.
1. What design strategies will make hospitals more prepared to handle a future pandemic?
Healthcare will undergo a fundamental redesign centered around flexibility.
2. Will the rapid adoption of telehealth be sustained?
This will be the lasting legacy of COVID-19 on health systems. Many providers are now, week after week, executing the majority of their office visits virtually.
3. What is not getting enough attention?
In multiple states, the percentage of African Americans dying from COVID-19 greatly exceeds the percentage of whites and other races who are dying. This disturbing trend should give us pause and compel us to imagine a future healthcare system and society that ensures equity.
The harsh realities of the pandemic have exposed many shortcomings in our healthcare system. But COVID-19 has also has created an unprecedented opportunity to better align healthcare with design to creatively solve some of the most pressing issues of the day.