Simulation Informed Design: A Team that Co-Creates

Imagine a radical collaboration that breaks down the boundaries between the disciplines of clinicians and healthcare design through a truly integrated process incorporating simulation to advance the way services are delivered and spaces are created. This is the core of the co-creation that NORR’s Health Services team is doing in conjunction with Advanced Performance Healthcare Design (APHD). The value of a holistic design process was realized during a recent major healthcare facility project utilizing multi-modal simulation. The result was a commitment to work together to help other providers rethink, recalibrate and reimagine the design of their facilities and spaces in the new era of healthcare.

Rethink: A Design Process Philosophy

Using simulation as a tool can inform the design decisions of clinical solutions across the spectrum of virtual care to broader integrated systems design. What I’ve learned as an architect is that collaboration with the doctors and clinicians, nurses and patients, results in a better, more efficient outcome and more informed design. The collaboration between the entities, different users, clinicians, and patients is so important to the process, that it only enhances the final design.

Recalibrate: A Holistic Design Process

We’ve been able to accelerate a healthcare design process that helps to close the gap by identifying detailed functional needs by collecting hard data through a combination of simulation, prototype testing, tabletop exercises and movement maps that inform the final design decision. Through our collaborative work, we’ve enabled a highly agile process between the clinical practice and architects that draws on a proven incremental and iterative development model through a series of successive, increasingly refined work sessions.

Reimagine: A New Era of Design Process

Guided by human-centric, evidence-based and simulation-based design, our collective teams believe in creating environments, placing patients at the center of their care. There is a uniqueness to every environment. We help to make sense of functional design and refine workflow through user-centric, multi-modal simulation. On a broader scale, we design across systems that integrate people, space and technology. With higher demands placed on institutions to deliver more and varied services – and in new ways, co-creation with simulation and design initiates new ideas on a higher level of integrated thinking.

Simulation, architecture and design go hand-in-hand. We have to understand how the space is being used. We can imagine it, but through participation in simulation, we can achieve a data-driven, informed design decision. Co-creating with APHD has provided the physician’s lens and perspective of how a space is or can be utilized. In a world where healthcare delivery has been disrupted by the global pandemic, the time is now to rethink, recalibrate and reimagine the design process.

Frank Panici is Vice President, Health Sciences at NORR