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The FGI Guidelines in the Hospitals Essay

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Table of Contents
Hospitals standard Design Model
Hospital Structures with Functions

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The main goal of hospitals is to promote health by providing quality health care to patients. Hospitals enable health promotion by enabling people to control and improve their health. Various aspects help a hospital achieve its goals such as committed staff, sufficient and efficient health equipment, good management among other things. People tend to overlook the building’s design of the hospital that plays a major role in hospitals’ functionality. The size, location, and design of hospital structures are fundamental for a hospital to offer quality healthcare.

Hospital buildings are complex because they offer a wide range of services as well as contain numerous functional units (Leibrock, 2001). Some of the structures contained in hospitals include surgery rooms, treatment and diagnostic areas, imaging rooms, clinical rooms, and emergency rooms among others (O’Leary et. al, 2005). It also contains structures that offer hospitality functions such as housekeeping, food service, and bed-related and inpatient care functions.

Some guidelines and criteria should be followed to oversee hospital operations and construction (Mooney, 2004). Apart from building treatment facilities, hospitals require other technology and engineering, electrical and telecommunication functionalities to be installed. These functionalities require specialized expertise and knowledge different from the building and construction field. The wide range of hospital functions makes it hard to have one consultant or person with the required expertise and complete knowledge in the building design of hospital structures. Hospitals, therefore, employ specialized consultants who come up with hospital plans and designs.

A good hospital design should balance between the functional needs and accommodate the mandatory requirements such as regulating internal traffic and coordinating all the departments while making sure that the financial budget of the hospital is followed. Before a designer can incorporate his design, he must get the input and opinions of the owner, hospital staff, users, and other stakeholders (Mooney, 2004). This is because they are the ones who will use the hospital facilities and it is fundamental to take their requirements into account.

Hospitals standard Design Model

The FGI guidelines for the design and construction of healthcare facilities recommend that healthcare providers should employ qualified design professionals in the design and construction of health facilities. Some guidelines and standards have been set by federal agencies, authorities, and joint commissions regarding hospital structures. The FGI guidelines include reference standards that determine and review the survey plans and financial plans before certifying, approving and licensing, or accrediting a newly constructed structure (Mathias, 2001). All constructed hospitals should fulfill the standards laid out in the FGI guidelines to have efficient clinical and support facilities, ambulatory care facilities, nursing functions in addition to hospitality and residential care facilities (Christiansen, 2004).

A hospital should also have a proper aesthetic that include proper lighting, ventilation, heating as well as plumbing. For a hospital to fulfill its functions, it should contain a design that fulfills bed-related functions, treatment, and diagnostic functions, administrative, hospitality functions in addition to teaching and research functions (Christiansen, 2004). The configuration of a hospital is determined by the physical relationship between the above functions. The most important factor to consider while building hospital structures is that the hospital structures should be well networked to ensure that there is good communication and movement of people, equipment, and materials from one end to the other.

Hospital Structures with Functions

A research carried out in a psychiatric unit of a public hospital to determine how hospital structures relate to the functions, showed that the design played an important role in the efficiency and type of quality care a hospital gives. The design attributes of the psychiatric facility should promote staff efficiency. This can be achieved by minimizing the distance traveled between the frequently used spaces. The research study concluded that the distance between the nursing area and the patient’s bed should be small to ensure quick attention to patients.

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The research also showed that many hospitals have built nurse stations on inpatient units in a way that allows easy visual supervision of patients. The nurses can see the patient areas from their nursing stations to increase efficiency. The hospitals had a careful pre-design program since all the spaces incorporated were useful and there were no redundant ones. Most of the hospitals involved in the study contained a central meeting area for the inpatient units. Some hospitals had living rooms where staff and patients could meet as well as other smaller rooms where the families could visit their patients. The hospitals contained multi-purpose spaces that were used for training and teaching areas as well as other hospital functions. The multi-purpose spaces made sure that hospital space was used efficiently and also reduced on costs of building other spaces that could be redundant at times(Leibrock, 2001).

The most important guideline that hospital structures should have so that they can perform their functions well is efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When hospitals structures are efficient, they give room for expansion. In the plan layout, the designer should make sure that he leaves some space in case the hospital expands due to increased medical needs. Instead of using specific rooms, hospitals should be flexible to use generic room plans and sizes. The rooms should be made from durable finishes so that housekeeping can be easy.

All areas in the hospital should be easily accessible. ADA (Americans with Disability Act) requires that all hospital areas should be easily accessible to accommodate patients with permanent and temporal handicaps. The corridors and sidewalks should accommodate all patients and should be wide enough to even accommodate slow patients. The hospital structures should all be interconnected to ensure easy and controlled circulation and movement of people and goods (Leibrock, 2001).

The circulation of people and goods should be controlled such that the outpatients should not travel through inpatient areas and mix with the acutely ill patients. The paths and corridors to be used by the outpatients should be clearly defined. The visitors should have a direct route to the patient’s units without going through other functional units such as administration block, surgery rooms among others. The movement of clean food and supplies should be separated from the movement of other waste food. Clean supplies should not be in the same route the visitors and patients are using. The morgue should be far from the other hospital units and the cadavers’ transportation route should not be visible to the patients and visitors.


Some many guidelines and criteria should be followed when building structures in a hospital. The building plan and design incorporated in a hospital should ensure that all the facilities incorporated in a health center are efficient and cost-effective. The building structures designer should ensure that it offers the administrative roles, nursing roles as well as consider the financial status of the hospital. The building design should incorporate the owner’s needs, the users’ needs, volunteers, suppliers among other stakeholders. The FGI guidelines recommend that a hospital should have enough space to offer clinical and nursing care facilities, residential facilities, ambulatory facilities, hospitality facilities among others. A healthcare facility should also offer proper technological and engineering facilities such as electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation among others to ensure that patients are comfortable and well taken care of.

It is therefore very necessary that the building consultant keep the efficiency and cost-effectiveness guideline in mind when designing a hospital structure. The efficiency of the hospital structures ensures that all the other factors are considered. Efficiency ensures that the staff is comfortable at work since they will not be inconvenienced walking for long distances to take care of the patients. The patients on the other hand enjoy quality services since every facility and equipment is strategically placed. When the correct guidelines that are efficient and cost-effective are incorporated when designing a hospital, it then becomes easy to provide a peaceful therapeutic environment to both the patient and staff.

It is also easy to clean and maintain properly built and regulated structures as well as offer aesthetics such as lighting systems, color, scale, and artwork. It is easy to sustain a well-built structure as well as provide security and safety. It is therefore right to conclude that an efficient and cost-effective hospital design ensures that a hospital promotes health through the provision of quality healthcare.

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Christiansen, D.A. (2004). Know your options with the periodic performance review process. Nursing Management, 35(9):16-19

Leibrock, C.A. (2001). Design Details for Health: Making the Most of Interior Design’s Healing Potential. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Mathias, J.M. (2001). Dose of fun aids JCAHO preparation. OR Manager. Boulder, 17(8):16-20

Mooney, M. C. (2004). Stay current with staffing effectiveness standards. Nursing Management, 35(2)13-16

O’Leary, D.S., Chang, A., Schyve, P.M., Croteau, R.J and Loeb, J.M. (2005). The JCAHO patient safety event taxonomy: a standardized terminology and classification schema for near misses and adverse events. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 17(2):95-105

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