The facility also communicates a torrent of clues about the organization and the medical care being provided there.
Designers find increasing focus on limiting both construction costs and the costs of their design services, while compressing construction schedules and still meeting the highest quality standards.
As cost pressures increase, health care facilities find themselves in increasing competition for both patients and staff.
There is increasing emphasis on special-care units and smaller satellite facilities rather than large, centralized facilities.
In the past, communicable diseases were the major health problem, and sanitation or cleanliness was the main characteristic of a healing or therapeutic environment.
Architecture is often recognized as an important tool in attracting and retaining the best doctors and nurses, the most successful HMOs and insurance plans, and the most patients.
Consumer decisions are based on cost, accessibility, quality of service, and quality of medical care.
It is also affected by many less defined needs and pressures.
The most pressing of these are workforce shortages, reimbursements, malpractice insurance, physician-hospital relations, capacity, care for the uninsured, patient safety, advances in technology, and patient satisfaction per a recent American College of Healthcare Executives survey of hospital CEOs.
These regulations put emphasis on acoustic and visual privacy.
While HIPAA does not regulate facilities design, its implications for healthcare facilities may affect location and layout of workstations that handle medical records and other patient information, paper and electronic, as well as patient accommodations.
The entire health care system is under great pressure to reduce costs, and at the same time, be more responsive to "customers".