Versatility is the key to remaining viable in today’s changing healthcare space.

While “flexibility” and “adaptability” may sound like buzzwords to the healthcare design community, it is truly vital for clinics to embrace a building model that can keep up with constant change. Adaptable buildings not only accommodate short-term needs, they also help facilities adjust to long-term changes such as renovations. Adaptability is so important, in fact, that a clinic must remain versatile to avoid ceasing operation altogether. Healthcare Design advises:

Healthcare facilities can quickly become obsolete unless they’re designed for flexibility and adaptability. Evolving healthcare services and delivery methods are affecting facility utilization and prompting the need to quickly answer those changes.

To keep up with the constant cycle of change in healthcare environments, experts offer four options to consider when planning for flexibility and adaptability. First, consider short-, mid- and long-term goals. Next, understand your demographic. Establish the type of service and care model you wish to provide. And lastly, standardize as many aspects of a facility as possible to avoid complexity down the road. Consider trends that could impact future flexibility, including economic, legislative, demographic and cultural factors as well as advances in both medical and communications technology.

Read about more healthcare design criteria to consider at Healthcare Design.