Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Edition: Surgical Construction - February 2021 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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3 4 • S U P P L E M E N T T O O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 What prompted you to go architecture school after medical school? I double-majored in biology and art history, with a fine arts minor, so I've always had an interest in architecture. I just assumed it would remain an interest, not a career. But the Cleveland Clinic, where I did my residency, played a critical role in my path. The Cleveland Clinic encourages all its physicians to gain experience in non-clinical areas and, while there, I was essentially mentored by campus architect Malcolm Cutting. He believes in involving doctors and nurses in construction planning and asked if I would help him with the planning of a large facility. That was the start. How do you view healthcare design differently than your clinical peers? I know what an architect does; I've been in the trenches. This understand- ing is key. Because I understand square footage, I know why we can't just make it smaller and cheaper. I grasp the relevance of mechanical and struc- tural infrastructure needed for function. I see cost in a way you can't without formal training. Next to nuclear power, healthcare is the most regulated industry in the country. There are so many variables that factor into a project's cost, from funding to current and future regulations. Those fancy finishes account for only 5% of a project's total cost, while HVAC expenses account for 45%. How do you create a facility that's functional and aesthetically pleasing? The key is "thoughtful design." When a patient arrives, they should instantly feel that the facility was designed with their needs in mind. That's why the "Five- Minute Space," the welcome area where patients spend those first five min- utes, is so important. In surgery, there's so much patients don't see or understand. They need to grasp onto something that lets them know they're in a safe environment. Thoughtful designs can do that. For the final 20 years of my mother's life, she served as my muse for every one of my projects. I tried to see every angle from the patient's perspective. The patient I had in mind when I made those decisions was always my mom. How will COVID-19 alter healthcare design moving forward? The pandemic is forcing us to reevaluate what's needed to stay operational during emergencies. We need to future-proof facilities for any emergency — whether it's a pandemic or a natural disaster — in ways both clinically and economically appropriate. The pandemic highlighted the need to overhaul structural and air-exchange systems in facilities, but it's not feasible to redo all buildings and add negative pressure to every space. The challenge post-pandemic will be striking a clinical and economic balance as we prepare for whatever comes next. OSM Dr. Tingwald (gtingwald@stanfordhealthcare.org) is the administrative director of medical planning at Stanford (Calif.) Health Care and one of only a handful of individuals to hold the designation of both medical doctor and licensed architect. Q & A 'Thoughtful Design' From the Patient's Perspective Q&A with George Tingwald, MD, AIA, the surgeon-architect who planned the new $2 billion Stanford Hospital.

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