October 30, 2015
Anne Rezac, Camilla Moretti, Lisa Adams, Steve Jacobson, Tyler Schwede

The HKS Idea Fellowship Outpatient Clinic team has hit the ground running, excited to pioneer into the next frontiers of outpatient clinic design.  Picking up the baton from CADRE’s research on Clinic 20xx, the team is honing in on key targets to improve both organizational and cultural aspects of the outpatient clinic.  Does the layout of a clinic impact utilization?  Can modularity and standardization influence capacity of load leveling and efficiency?  How can we better design staff workspaces to improve workflow and culture?  Over the course of the next year, we hope to answer these questions and illustrate solutions on what tomorrow’s optimized clinic might look like.

We are optimistic that client partnerships will allow us to model our solutions based on real world data.  With access to existing, concept-stage and future client facilities, we plan to observe and analyze throughput data and implement staff surveys, to gain a better understanding of how our areas of interest play a role on clinic outcomes, good and bad.  We believe standardization and modularity in outpatient clinics can potentially increase utilization, decrease the number of exam rooms needed per clinic, decrease square footage required and ultimately reduce construction cost while still providing the same (or improved) throughput.

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To our clients, these improved clinics will offer not only increased revenue, but will also create better efficiencies for staff and potentially improve utilization of resources.  Caregivers would benefit from workspaces designed to improve collaboration, access to information and comradery. Patients would appreciate shorter wait times and more time spent with caregivers. 

Our next steps will involve a current-state analysis of outpatient clinics, followed by data gathering to support our hypothesis.  Our tool kit will include a parametric tool for analyzing floor plans based on process sequence for efficient clinic layout.  We will develop an easily deployable research methodology that can be applied to multiple clients.  Our final work product will summarize our findings and provide illustrations of future-state clinic module recommendations.  Sounds easy right?  We’ll get back to you on that.

For HKS, this study will reinforce our role as a leader in the design community in understanding outpatient clinic design.  We look forward to continuing in the tradition of data-driven design, as seen in the Clinic 20xx research, to create tools that allow us to deliver the best possible projects to our clients.

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