Healthcare Facilities of the Future

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas – via Cleveland Clinic Newsroom

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been thinking about the design of healthcare facilities given our new reality of pandemics, climate disasters, and mass-casualty events. Is there a better way to design healthcare facilities to accommodate for these types of events? Add to this, the care-at-home movement and suddenly large hospital campuses begin to look a little outdated.

Instead of a centralized approach to healthcare, where patients have to go to facilities, what if healthcare were more distributed and mobile? Would it make more sense to have mobile units that could travel to where patients are and deliver care at their work or at home? Could we use modular designs to build up smaller facilities and then move them/reconfigure them as demands change (ie: as a neighborhood ages).

In 2014, Rush University Medical Center opened the doors on the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response. At the time, Dr Dino Rumoro, chairman of emergency medicine at Rush had this to say bout the new facility: “The center brings an unprecedented level of preparedness to Chicago in the event of a bioterrorist attack, a deadly pandemic or an industrial accident sending hazardous materials seeping into the streets.”

Will we see more such centers in the future?

Or will we see more facilities like the Piedmont Wellness Center in Fayetteville GA that combines fitness, sports-training, nutritional counseling, outpatient rehab, and hiking trails?

Frankly I think we will need both types of facilities.

One thing I will be happy to see phased out of future facilities – waiting rooms. Patients hate being in them. Clinicians hate managing them. Staff hate cleaning them. The technology exists today to get rid of them and have patients stay in their cars or even better, have everything running like clockwork so that patients are seen at exactly the time of their appointment.

Join the next #hcldr tweetchat on Tuesday July 19th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) where we will be discussing the following questions:

  • Q1 What will future healthcare facilities have that don’t exist today or are rare today?
  • Q2 What will future healthcare facilities NOT HAVE that are common today?
  • Q3 Is there a type of healthcare facility that will become more common in the future? (ex: mass trauma center, mobile disaster response units, modular ORs, inflatable hospitals)
  • Q4 Where should healthcare look for design inspiration for future facilities? NASA? Hospitality? Movies?


Berg, Brenda. “What Does the Future of Healthcare Facility Design Look Like?”, Healthcare Facilities Today, 13 October 2020,–21567, accessed 19 July 2022

“A Glimpse into the Future of Health Care Facilities”, American Hospital Association, 8 August 2018,, accessed 19 July 2022

Bestsennyy, Oleg et al. “From facility to home: How healthcare could shift by 2025”, McKinsey, 1 February 2022,, accessed 18 July 2022

“The Future Of Hospital Design – Inside The Point Of Care”, the Medical Futurist, 16 March 2021,, accessed 19 July 2022

Bulgarelli, Peter. “Five questions to future-proof your healthcare facilities”, Healthcare Facilities Today, 1 September 2017,–16365, accessed 18 July 2022

Costelloe, Stephanie. “The Design of Future Healthcare Facilities to Cope with Pandemics and Other Health Crises”, B+H Architects, 28 July 2021,, accessed 18 July 2022

“Top 10 Design Trends for Hospitals of the Future”, Perkins & Will, 29 January 2021,, accessed 19 July 2022

“Nation’s First Center for Advanced Emergency Response Opens on January 6”, 25 June 2014,, accessed 19 July 2022

Image Credit

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas – via Cleveland Clinic Newsroom –

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