HCDC Symposium 2020: The Year for Lessons-Learned

The Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium brings together owners, contractors, and designers to Vanderbilt University in an intimate setting to discuss best practices and trends in healthcare design.  In its 14th year, the overall goal is to share strategies to utilize available resources to create safe and healing environments for the patients we serve.

This year’s event was co-chaired by our Healthcare Practice Leader, Marc Rowland.  After a week of  preparing agendas, hosting sessions, and exchanging ideas, he shares his lessons learned on this year’s theme “creating a path to a resilient future.”  As we reflect on 2020, could there be a better time to forward the conversation on resilient healthcare design?


It’s all about Flexibility.

Now more than ever, flexibility is the name of the game.  We have to stretch our minds when it comes to designing solutions for new healthcare challenges.  That means flexible space, flexible uses, even flexible thought-processes.  As service shifts to outpatient care and hospitals face increasing infectious diseases, we will have to reimagine spaces to be able to flex with patient needs.


We’re the ones to tackle it.

As designers, we have the ideal approach to solving problems, and our flexible thinking will be a key tool as we move forward.  In one session hosted by Dr. Bon Ku, an emergency physician and professor, he recognized that good design is good business.  It’s time to leverage our creativity and design thinking to tackle the problems of the ever-changing healthcare delivery system.  Beyond patient environments, how can we help healthcare providers improve the system as a whole?


And coronavirus has confirmed it.

If we have learned anything from 2020, the pandemic has permanently changed our thinking on designing for healthcare environments.  It has affirmed some best practices, while revealing opportunities for small shifts to improve flexibility.  Increasing proven practices such as using UV light in more environments and increasing air exchanges in patient spaces go a long way to control the spread of infectious diseases.


Overall, this year has revealed the necessity for space to flex with patient and caregiver needs.  As we continue to tackle the issues of healthcare delivery, it is paramount that service providers and designers leverage their expertise to design new ways to deliver quality healthcare.

Learn more about how we are tackling these issues as they arise at facilities across the country.  Our most recent campus renovation at JFK Medical Center expands emergency service capacity as well as prepares the bed tower for future expansion.