Friday, March 28, 2008

Medical Equipment Planning


My objective is to share my knowledge of medical equipment planning and to foster open discussions on topics that relate to the field of medical equipment planning. If you are involved in a healthcare construction project, whether it is a new facility, replacement, expansion or renovation, the equipment planning process will be critical to its success.

Medical equipment planners are sometimes simply called equipment planners, because they plan a more diverse mix of items than just "medical". Kitchen equipment, computers, office machines and just about anything else an architect or interior designer will shrug their shoulders at.

While these other professions will focus on the design, materials, colors and lighting of the interior spaces, about 70% of the infrastructure costs will be driven by what the medical equipment planner does. When planning a fume hood in the lab, it it ducted to the exterior of the building. When planning a surgical light, it receives structural support, electrical and a conduit run to a wall mounted intensity controller. The sterilizer will need steam, water, drain, electrical, data and plenty of ventilation to control the humidity and temperature. So clearly, equipment planning drives much of the detail work on the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural engineering. The better the design teams members understand how items function and their reliance or impact on infrastructure, the more successful the project outcome will be.

I encourage everyone to participate in this blog by passing along any questions they may have or sharing the insights they've gained from past project experience. My aim is to improve the design of healthcare spaces by educating the project team. Hopefully these posts will serve as an easy reference for those who need information, insight, or suggestions. Happy planning!

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