Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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52 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM We're in a new era of health- care delivery — modern healthcare architecture has become more focused on strategically designed proj- ects that accommodate the latest advancements in both construction techniques and medical technologies. This evolution has resulted in inno- vative state-of-the-art facilities that are as beautiful as they are functional. As with many indus- tries, progress comes with a large price tag. New medical projects or renovations can require investments of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars with a design life of 50 years or more. As damage to these facilities may result in a reduc- tion of mission capability, it is critical to ensure these spaces are protected. Engineers, architects and construction teams often address the most signifi cant threats, such as earthquakes, fi res and other natural di- sasters during project devel- opment and construction. However, like all other public infrastructure, the failure to protect medical facilities from man-made threats and terrorist risks can have high economic costs, as well as hu- man costs to staff , patients and possibly a major reduction in capability to provide medical services to the community at a crucial time. Recent events serve as a reminder that hospitals and medical facilities must be pre- pared for accidental vehicle in- cursions and vehicle-based at- tacks driven by human error or malice. Terrorist groups have made repeated documented and credible threats against Veterans Administration hospitals, as well against many well-known health centers connected to universities and religious institutions. One of the preferred methods to car- rying out such threats is the use of vehicles to crash into people and facilities. In addition to the risk of intentional vehicle attacks comes the very common risk of accidental vehicle-into- building crashes. Hospitals and medical facilities are high-stress environments. Whether it's a frantic spouse dropping off a laboring moth- er-to-be, a bereaved friend or family member too distracted to drive or a driver who may have cognitive or medical impairments, drivers arriving at hospitals or clinics are more prone to poor driving than the general population. These factors create an environment with a higher-than-normal risk for vehicle accidents or incursions. Areas such as ER entrances and passenger load- ing zones, where vehicles and pedestrians mix, are proven to be hazardous locations. The Storefront Safety Council reports that more than 150 medical facilities have been struck by vehicles since 2012, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. In addition to the risk to people and property, there is also a substantial fi nancial risk. Well over $100 million in death and injury claims were paid out in 2015 and 2016 because of vehicle-into-building crashes. Protecting medical facilities from vehicle threats BY ROB REITER FIRST DEFENSE The aesthetic effect of lighted bollards is an added benefi t to the use of crash-resistant bollards to separate approaching vehicles from pedestrians and patients in arrival or ER areas.

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