The Future of Healthcare Buildings and How Modular Can Help

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    August 31, 2021

    The Future of Healthcare Buildings and How Modular Can Help

    The number of COVID-19 cases is still growing at a staggering rate, and the need for more beds, labs, offices, and even storage has never been greater or more immediate in the healthcare industry. A temporary building or modular structure is the best way to add effective, safe, affordable capacity to healthcare facilities.

    So, why aren’t more facilities using these kinds of modular healthcare buildings?

    Maybe administrators, procurement professionals, and even medical staff don’t really understand the kind of support temporary hospital facilities or modular medical buildings really provide. Whatever the reason, we’re seeing too many tent cities pop up outside of emergency rooms across the country. The fact is, our modular construction capabilities are perfectly positioned to relieve the growing pressure the medical industry is facing today.

    As Coronavirus Spreads, Demand for Temporary Modular Healthcare Buildings Increases

    It is impossible to browse any news outlet without seeing the latest update on the COVID-19. What started as a small outbreak in China in late 2019 has now spread into a global pandemic. And despite recent progress, there’s no confirmed sign that the pandemic is slowing down any time soon.

    The number of new cases continues to rise, vaccination rates are stagnating, and there is no known cure. Millions have been impacted by the virus and its spread, and millions more will likely join them. The rapid escalation of this pandemic and the strategy to quarantine patients who test positive for the virus have created an unprecedented demand for controlled, clean medical spaces.

    In the United States and the Caribbean, modular healthcare facilities are the answer. These buildings can provide the medical community with a better solution to fighting the coronavirus.

    6 Benefits of Volumetric Modular Medical Facilities

    Many benefits are associated with modular buildings. And six of these benefits make modular buildings an ideal choice for emergency response in the face of a pandemic. These benefits include the following:

    • Speed
    • Ability to scale up and down quickly
    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Remote treatment spaces
    • Controlled environments
    • The ability to accommodate cutting-edge medical technology

    Let’s look at each of these benefits in more detail.

    1. Quick Deployment and Installation : Speed is key in pandemic response. With a large fleet of modular buildings at the ready, companies like Mobile Modular can rapidly deploy buildings within a matter of weeks. This can be especially important when trying to add healthcare space quickly, such as during the current coronavirus pandemic. Our portable temporary buildings deploy immediately, with more than 3,000 prefabricated modular units across the country ready to ship today. They stack and install like Legos, can meet the building codes of your state or municipality, and are located in all 50 states to trim delivery time.
    2. Scale up or Down as Needed : Another key benefit of modular structures is the ability to expand capacity over the short term — and then demobilize the structures after the immediate demand passes. As the pandemic has progressed so far, it has ebbed and flowed at various points. The ability to add more modular healthcare structures or send them back to the leasing company is exactly the type of flexibility necessary to respond to an unpredictable virus outbreak. From modular hospital construction to one-unit modular imaging facilities, modular can meet nearly any facility need of the healthcare industry.
    3. Low-Cost : With flexible leasing conditions and low-cost manufacturing methods, modular buildings are quite affordable for rent or sale. Your staff, doctors, and patients can use a built-to-code, temporary hospital building without putting institutional finances at risk. When the pandemic ends, we’ll remove the building so you only pay for what you need. Especially in cities like New York, construction costs can often cause building projects to come in over budget. This is due to the difficulty of sourcing building materials, navigating building sites, and transporting materials. However, the modular construction process can lead to much more predictable costs that are lower over the long term. This ensures that a modular hospital construction or other modular medical building project comes in under budget and on time.
    4. ‘Remote’ Modular Healthcare Facilities to Keep Staff and Patients Safe : Modular healthcare buildings allow hospital systems to establish triage and intensive care (ICU) facilities in out-lots surrounding the main hospital. This “remoteness” allows healthcare workers to screen and treat COVID-19 patients away from the general (and potentially vulnerable) population. In addition, as a virus like COVID-19 travels, modular medical offices can coordinate to share temporary modular healthcare facilities because modular units are highly portable. This allows new and used modular healthcare buildings to be transported exactly where they are needed, limiting the risk of patient exposure to general communities.
    5. Safe and Controlled Environments : Some hospitals have resorted to using tents and pole or canvas structures to meet the demand for medical space. When the pandemic first struck, tents became a common site outside of emergency rooms across the United States — a shocking new reality that is not tenable in the face of a deadly pandemic. There are obvious reasons why you would want your temporary hospital buildings to be more structurally sound than a tent. But the most important reason to use real, modular medical buildings over tents is the ability to provide your staff and patients with a controlled environment for better care. Our medical buildings can be equipped with state-of-the-art HVAC systems and air filtration to keep medical practitioners and patients safe. In addition to promoting healthy air quality, a sealed building makes proper sanitization practices achievable.
    6. The Latest Medical Technology : Finally, modular construction allows healthcare facilities to equip their spaces with the latest technology, from radiology, MRI, and X-ray equipment to hyperbaric oxygen chambers and automated pharmacy equipment. Specific rooms and buildings within a healthcare facility can be designed and manufactured with very specific technology to be used at the facility. Whether it is visual displays and monitors or touchless operation technology, the customer can be certain that each item will be integrated into the design perfectly.

     Types of Modular Medical Facilities

    Going far beyond modular hospital construction, the healthcare industry includes many different types of facilities for which modular buildings are used, including the following:

    • Modular medical clinics
    • Intensive care units (ICUs)
    • Modular triage and diagnosis facilities
    • Temporary testing facilities and modular medical offices
    • Mobile urgent care centers
    • Assisted-living facilities
    • Diagnostic imaging centers, including CT scanners and MRI equipment
    • Facilities equipped with radiology equipment and X-ray technology
    • Mobile and modular medical laboratories
    • Administrative office buildings

    Regardless of what type of facility or clinic is needed, modular construction in the medical and healthcare industry can be an ideal way to flex capacity when needed.

    Modular Healthcare Building Examples

    When the coronavirus initially began to spread in Wuhan, China, the local hospitals quickly became filled with patients. With the hospitals running out of room, officials knew they needed to take preemptive action. They turned to modular construction and were able to construct a 1,000-bed hospital facility in a matter of 10 days.

    The construction of the COVID-19 clinic was completed using modular, cargo container-like rooms. It was live-streamed so people could watch the progress. See more about this major accomplishment in this video.

    Temecula Valley Hospital was built on lean principles using modular construction and some unique designs. The project utilized prefabricated operating room ceilings, exterior wall panels, roof sections, patient room toilets, and mechanical plumbing racks. The modular medical office project was a huge success, and it turned out to be one of the fastest and most cost-effective hospitals ever built in the state of California.

    The team at Mobile Modular is happy to do what we do best to help people in a time of crisis, whether it’s a global pandemic, natural disaster, or emergency military undertaking. We have also put a few feathers of modular success in our caps over the years. We discuss a few of those projects below.

    New Modular Imaging Building for Park Nicollet Health Services

    The project Park Nicollet Health Services asked Mobile Modular to complete would have taken around six months to finish with traditional construction, but through modular construction techniques and superior supply chain relationships, we got it done in around 90 days — roughly half the time of traditional construction.

    The project was a new medical imaging building for Burnsville, Minnesota-based Park Nicollet. The facility needed a new place in which to house its MRI equipment and CT scanner.

    Our team met that need with a four-module, 2,288-square-foot facility equipped with radio frequency and magnetic shielding and lead-lined doors, windows, and walls to accommodate a world-class CT scanner. We also outfitted the units for easy updating to accommodate new equipment and simple transportation should the need for a new location arise.

    Claremont MRI Addition

    Technology was one of the primary considerations for our modular radiology project at Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma. An initial plan to site-build a magnetic resonance imaging facility at the hospital had fallen through, so the clinic contacted Mobile Modular after five years of searching for a solution.

    As it turned out, modular construction was the ideal solution for this problem. Our team delivered an 884-square-foot modular MRI facility. The new facility’s scan room came equipped with a radio frequency shield to reduce interference with the sensitive MRI equipment. An added bonus: we installed cutting-edge remote controls for an HVAC system that allowed healthcare workers to adjust temperatures to meet the specifications of the MRI equipment on site.

    Abbeville Area Medical Center

    Limited square footage and an acute need for new MRI equipment were among the chief problems Abbeville Area Medical Center was facing before they crossed paths with the Mobile Modular team. The South Carolina facility’s leaders had already landed on modular medical construction as the solution they believed they needed. We were happy to confirm that belief.

    We proposed a one-unit modular building that would house new radiology equipment. To keep the facility cohesive, we designed the modular unit to connect with an existing walkway and match the existing building’s aesthetic elements. The available footprint was small, the design specifications were specific, and we couldn’t disrupt the day-to-day operations of the medical facility as we worked. We achieved those three objectives with flying colors.

    To help out the small facility even more, Mobile Modular worked with Canon Medical Systems to secure financing for the new modular MRI project. Mission accomplished.

    Need a Modular Healthcare Building? Call Mobile Modular

    If you are in need of a modular healthcare facility, you can count on Mobile Modular to deliver quickly. We can provide you with the healthcare space you need to respond to this crisis and any future crisis the medical industry may face.

    Utilizing innovative modular construction techniques, we can meet your needs quickly and cost-effectively. Let Mobile Modular focus on the construction while you focus on the needs of your patients.

    To discuss your modular medical facility needs with a team of experts, contact Mobile Modular. Give us a call at 866-395-7309 or contact us online.

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