By Megan Headley
Healthcare construction hasn’t stopped under the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has dramatically evolved. As it becomes increasingly more difficult to find available real estate needed to support the incoming surge while separating patients infected with COVID-19 from those without, many hospital systems are working through existing projects.
Mike Wood, M.D., Ph.D., MSM, CHC, vice president of construction for Medxcel and immediate past president of the Association of Medical Facility Professionals (AMFP), explained during the April 2 AMFP webinar, “Managing Your Healthcare Construction Project in Midst of COVID-19 Crisis,” that his team is leading a task force for client Ascension Health to assess design and construction of projects already underway and determine which of its 3,700 projects needed to be completed to support the coming surge of patients with respiratory distress.
The task force ultimately opted to maintain full momentum on work in progress around critical systems, including critical patient care areas such as ICUs and ORs, elevators, MEP, HVAC, building automation systems and any potential additional bed projects. The bigger question was how to maintain full momentum as the health system braces for overwhelm and implemented new requirements for infection control. “We thought that was not such a brave decision as one of necessity and business continuity,” Wood says. “What we’ve found in the weeks since was that it was a pretty brave decision.”
Wood shared his team’s first steps toward responding to construction needs during COVID-19:
For more insight, download the webinar.
Megan Headley is admin for the Association of Medical Facility Professionals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing timely education, networking, and resources to professionals within the healthcare built environment.