Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New healthcare facility design standards for capital

The Gulf Today, 26 Jan 2011

THE healthcare regulator in the capital emirate of Abu Dhabi has set up new requirements to prevent medical errors caused by inappropriate design and construction of healthcare facilities.
The healthcare facility design standards were launched on Tuesday at Arab Health Congress 2011 in Dubai, focusing on specific conditions for construction and design of hospitals, clinics and other health facilities in the emirate.
The new standards are a comprehensive tool that all future healthcare facilities as well as currently refurbished ones need to comply with the norms to obtain or renew their licences, said a senior official at the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
Adeeb Al Zaabi, the manager of Health Facility Licensing Department at the Haad, said: “The design consultants for healthcare facilities are required to be pre-qualified in accordance with the standards before submitting such projects for licensing applications at the Haad.”
“The new standards provide indepth information and ready-to-use standard components for the briefing and design of healthcare facilities at no cost,” he added.
“As the standards aim at improving medical outcomes and minimising errors caused by inappropriate facility designs, owners and management of healthcare facilities should also have to be familiar with the conditions as they engage consultants and embark on new projects,” elaborated Al Zaabi.
According to him, it’s a step towards improving the knowledge base for the health care industry.
“Administrative provisions of the new requirements outline the licensing process for healthcare facilities and the prequalification process for design consultants. The clauses also specify on architectural planning, ergonomics, occupational health and safety, infection control and prevention. The building construction also should be environment-friendly to control temperature and humidity,” he elaborated.
“The facilities will be inspected after evaluating the applications by the healthcare facility licensing officials,” said Al Zaabi.
Aladin Niazmand, the global director of TAHPI, Health Facility Planning Specialist, said that the requirements have been drafted and match with the health facilities that reflect current health care functions and procedures in a safe and appropriate environment.
“Apart from the typical proscriptive building regulation, the standards provide knowledge in the specialised area of healthcare briefing, design and construction. It educates and guides, provides terminology and tools, offers ready-made standard components, encourages further innovation and it is locally aware and regionally sensitive,” he added.

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