Page 6 — Health Care & Life Sciences Quarterly — October 2022 HEALTH CARE - BRANDING YOUR PATIENTS COME FIRST WITH US, TOO. SHARED EXPECTATIONS | CERTAINTY OF OUTCOMES M y passion for health care architecture has only grown throughout my 20-plus-year career. I love the complexity of health care buildings and the challenges each project evokes. While the exte- rior establishes the overall brand visibility and presence, the interior can make the largest impact on the comfort and experience of staff, patients and their families. I remember my first health care project like it was yesterday, an outpatient center in a Midwest metro area. Throughout my career I have continued to work on the same facility and have watched the transitions as it changed ownership multiple times through mergers and acquisitions. What caught my attention were the differences in brand standards throughout each transition, watching each new occu- pant shape and shift the visual ele- ments. Design standards are intended to establish consistency for each indi- vidual who steps foot into an orga- nization’s health care environment. When mergers and acquisitions occur, we are challenged with help- ing our clients look at their exist- ing space with open eyes, while we implement new standards (that are sometimes out of their control) throughout their facilities. Strategic growth can provide insight toward industrywide changes facing hos- pitals and health systems. Change can be hard, but I like to focus on the positive outcomes achieved by breaking routine and implement- ing an alterna- tive standard that ultimately boosts workflow and operational effi- ciencies without sacrificing quality. n Preparing for health care design standards. Pre- planning is a vital stage that should be assessed to determine the overall needs of facility design. Before undertak- ing a brand refresh, facility assess- ments must take place to search for potential project liabilities or obstacles. Planning early is the key to success, providing a timeline for facilities to transform existing con- ditions to meet brand, quality and the new post-merger/acquisition facility design standards. The efficiency of any building is controlled through components and products that are used. The key is to find a balance between upgrad- ing space features to increase the value or keeping existing materials that already work. Think timeless, not dated. When we can help our clients experience the standards before the project begins, then it builds support of the process. Using virtual reality we are able to show our clients the beauty and simplici- ty of a refreshed space that features fresh paint, artwork, furniture and signage as opposed to the previous reliance on floor patterns, and how these complementary fabrics and colors ultimately showcase and dis- tinguish the brand. I find it helps to get everyone focused on a common goal post-merger/acquisition; we are all in this together to create an environment that enhances optimal work conditions while support- ing the organization’s mission, and ultimately promoting an authentic message to each individual who steps inside. n The benefits of health care design standards. Every organization embodies a unique brand. Design standards provide consistency across the board for each organiza- tion’s facility. From my mergers and acquisitions experience, national health care system standards have been tried, tested and vetted, many times over, with features like flex- ible furnishings instead of built casework to promote a simplified brand ready for what the future will bring. Through careful direction on brand staples like color, accents, furniture, fabrics and artwork, the interiors can become timeless. One of the tenets of health care design is to maximize efficiency for staff members, better support- ing them to provide quality care to patients. Health care design stan- dards are also focused on maximiz- ing efficiency by providing organiza- tions with a benchmark for project cost and scope; for example, select- ing from a “kit of parts” to help control cost. The benefit of having Post-acquisition: Capitalize on branding possibilities LaVonne Langlieb, RA, NCARB Senior project architect and associate, EUA Please see Langlieb, Page 16 Keeping doors and minds open: By providing an environment that is conducive to serve each user group, overall quality of life improves.