Take a Performance-Based Approach to Facility Design

The following is an excerpt from Performance-Based Facility Design. Sg2 members can read the full publication and view other facility planning resources in the Facility Planning Resource Kit on

Traditional approaches to facility design rely heavily on executive vision and architectural influence early in the design process. Clinical end users (eg, nurses, physicians, ancillary professionals) are often engaged only after architectural visioning and predesign activities have been developed and budgets are established. In too many cases, challenges are not identified until a plan is complete or construction is already underway, which at best can cause delays and at worst can cost the organization millions of dollars.

By contrast, Sg2 Performance-Based Facility Design stresses the early integration of stakeholder input to avoid construction delays and maximize value. This innovative process involves all stakeholders early in the design phase, offering the most significant opportunity to positively influence a major facility project without incurring unnecessary costs.

Value Is Derived Through Cost Savings and Project Influence

Before predesign programming and planning is complete, the following questions should be answered:

  • How do we design a more efficient facility (eg, staffing, support services, supplies)?
  • What role does facility design play in promoting a safe, patient-friendly, healing environment?
  • What design alternatives exist, and how should they be prioritized relative to other needs?
  • How can the physical space promote professional collaboration in providing care?

This approach enables control of costs and timeline by establishing a clear set of priorities and qualitative guidelines through clinical and workflow improvement justifications.

Benefits and Significance of Performance-Based Facility Design
Cost Savings Early input and buy-in from clinical end users can potentially reduce redesign costs.
Integrated Operational, Strategic, Financial and Functional Design Planning Early consideration of strategy, financial impact, operating efficiency and clinical technology can facilitate long-term success.
Accelerated Project Delivery Timeline Aligning stakeholder interests and promoting mutual accountability can result in fewer requests for redesign.
Greater Stakeholder Satisfaction When all interested parties are involved early, they feel their concerns are heard and addressed in the facility plan.
Platform for Multidisciplinary Care Established An integrated design approach sets the stage for collaboration among specialists (eg, radiologists and cardiologists collaborate in the design of one lab that suits both specialties’ needs).
Discussion About a New Care Delivery Approach Initiated Find focus and address current strategic and operational gaps by basing plans on resource effectiveness, future patient needs and a vision of clinical excellence.
Take Action

Implementing a new design process requires trust and an ability to suspend traditional methods to improve the end product. Architects, strategic planners, clinical specialists and operations experts must be willing to collaborate and challenge current approaches to care delivery in favor of understanding how quality can be enhanced with new processes, technologies, roles and environments.

Are you an Sg2 member? Get 5 key steps that must be included within performance-based design, along with case studies on how organizations are leveraging this competency to meet current and future market needs by reading Performance-Based Facility Design in its entirety on Sg2 members can also view other facility planning resources in our Facility Planning Resource Kit. Reach out to your account team for help with employing performance-based design within your latest facility and across your System of CARE!

Not an Sg2 member yet? Sg2 has helped numerous organizations focus and develop master facility plans that span the entire care continuum. Contact us to find out how we can help you today.

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