South Florida Hospital News
Monday December 17, 2018
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December 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 6

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Safer, Healthier, Customer Driven Hospitals Built by OHL

As a kid, did you use blankets to create a fort under a table, or build a sand castle with buckets and shovels, or erect a skyscraper with Legos? Most of the time, you built with materials on-hand according to whatever plan was in your head with little thought to what would happen when you tired of playing.

Fast forward decades and you will be blown over by the intricacies of construction - from governmental regulations and codes to sustainable materials, eco-friendly demands, safety and security protocols, planning for long-term facility upgrades, engineering expertise, budget limitations, trends in delivery sites, emergency communication guidelines and much more. Add to that the unique mandates of health care facilities trying to retrofit or expand while intricate surgical procedures continue in an OR down the hall and HIPAA requirements are front and center to protect patient privacy.
 
Frank Chang, OHL Senior Project Manager, has been with this leader in Southeast health care construction for more than 20 years and OHL has experienced it all. Health care construction is a mainstay at OHL and Florida area clients include Baptist Health South Florida, University of Miami Health System, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Mount Sinai, in Miami. A plus in OHL’s column is repeat business. A full-service team response is SOP at OHL and clients have come to rely on integrity, hands-on customer service and longstanding industry leadership, according to Chang.
 
He noted that hospitals, ambulatory facilities, stand-alone ERs, surgi-centers, or senior living complexes all want therapeutic facilities that are eco-friendly, safe, sustainable, efficient and economical in order to provide quality care, attract clinicians and accommodate advancements in technology that are on-going. From design through construction, safety and technology issues have changed immensely over the years and OHL stays abreast of current practices by being in the thick of it.
 
For example, maternity rooms and nurseries most often require camera and door installations to accommodate security protocols for safety while the scale of rooms have changed based on rooming-in needs for new families and advanced equipment in NICU nurseries for the tiniest baby care.
 
In fact, not long ago, the greening of hospitals was considered a new trend. OHL’S long-term commitment to green hospital construction includes LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certification and a leading role in sustainability which contributed to driving industry acceptance of sustainability as a norm now.
 
“Our engagement in the sustainability wave includes energy and water conservation and use of material and knowledge that reduces client vulnerability to natural disasters (hurricanes and flooding) and leaves behind an eco-viable footprint for those who follow,” Chang remarked.
 
Technological advancements also impact the need for building flexibility into infrastructure. Electronic records, communications access across regional facilities, radio antenna equipment for telecommunications with ambulance and fire department first responders, specialty energy needs in imaging applications of nuclear magnetic fields and radioactive waves all require preplanning and knowledgeable execution for safe health care delivery in new or remodeled facilities.
 
“We work closely with manufacturers of medical equipment so we can provide the latest intelligence in facility construction to accommodate diagnostic and therapeutic advancements related to targeted patient populations and community needs. We start early with the client team to discuss patient or resident demographics, community concerns or building use, and we regularly attend regional and national conferences to stay updated on current codes,” Chang said.
 
Not only do most health care clients have mandates regarding facilities built to accommodate the provision of technology for quality patient care but also that they provide an environment for delivering that care. Increased use of natural light, organic materials, and textures in sync with the building function are all important elements of a healing atmosphere for patients and their families that OHL strives to provide.
 
Being good neighbors and responsible corporate citizens also tops the punch list for project managers at OHL. According to Chang, “We are involved in the local community and reach out to small business enterprises to provide opportunities to engage in construction projects for the local community business. The symbiotic relationship and knowledge exchange is a win-win.”

For more information, visit www.ohlna.com or email Frank.Chang@ohlna.com.

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