When it comes to hospitals, EGM architects has a reputation to uphold. Ever since our firm was established in the 1970s, we have designed much talked-about hospitals. Projects we worked on years ago, and which have become topical again, such as the University Medical Center Utrecht (previously AZU), the Vlietland Hospital in Schiedam (previously Holy Hospital), and the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Dordrecht. EGM has had many years of experience within the healthcare market. We always base our thinking on the end user's work processes, and enter into an active dialogue with our clients in order to find 'the question behind the question'. As architects of healthy buildings we have the ambition to continue to lead the way as healthcare designers. That's why we keep a close eye on all developments. Not just social, medical and technological developments, but also demographic, socio-cultural and economic ones, since demands and insights on buildings in healthcare continually change. And within new market conditions, these buildings are becoming of ever greater importance for care institutions in order to commit customers and employees.
Above all, architecture in healthcare is meant to serve, as the focus should be on the patients' recovery. Planetree and experience, being customer-oriented, and the healing environment are the current key concepts. We have continued to draw on the development we started there for newly to be constructed projects such as the Radboud-UMC in Nijmegen, the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis in Delft and the Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda.
It's our tradition to work on conversion projects in addition to new developments, such as the Ikazia Hospital in Rotterdam, the Beatrix Hospital in Gorinchem, the Rijnland Hospital in Leiderdorp and the Diaconessenhuis in Leiden.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP, JUST AS HEALTHCARE CONTINUES TO DEVELOP - THIS IS HOW we design TOMORROW'S HEALTHCARE
For the purpose of recording and developing the knowledge of internal processes and the impact of design decisions on the patients' well-being and caretakers, EGM designed an Evidence Based Design tool in 2015, which helps our designers in making scientifically substantiated choices which directly influence safety and efficiency, as well as employees', patients' and visitors' well-being. Together with the client, we come to innovative concepts, which always have people as their main focus. Utility value, logic, representative value and perception and experience are key concepts. Stringent limiting conditions apply, such as capital outlay and operating costs.
A hospital is one of the most complex organizations in healthcare, filled with specialisms that each have their own wishes and demands. To realize adequate, integral design solutions for this is our major challenge. This goes for new developments, but no less for transformation projects, in which existing buildings are adjusted to meet healthcare's changing demands and needs. Our most important characteristic is our empathy, our ability to put ourselves in the place of the patient, the caregiver, the doctor, nurse and manager. Only in this manner can we realize design solutions with future value.
University hospitals are in a league of their own, due to their large size, functional diversity and the scientific teaching. The combination of a hospital and medical university place exceptional demands to the building, routing and functions. Our experience and expertise lead to optimal, but also much talked-about solutions.
A health centre houses multiple primary healthcare disciplines. Often, it consists of a single organisational unit, with a joint vision with regard to healthcare in the neighbourhood and a multi-disciplinary care supply. Often, it offers specific healthcare programmes for the neighbourhood. We have designed and realized a large number of healthcare centres.
Increasingly, general practitioners who work in a surgery together seek out collaboration with a general hospital's A&E. This leads to more effective, efficient emergency care that is better suited to the patient's needs, and where patients are customers to the GP. Medical insurance companies consider this collaboration to be a desired quality improvement for the patient, but also as a way to keep expenses in check.
WE CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT THAT OFFERS HOPE AND PROSPECTS
In the Netherlands, about one in ten people suffer from a physical disability or chronic illness, either congenital or as a result of an accident. Rehabilitation helps them to give (new) shape and meaning to their lives. To help them handle their disorder or impairment, and to participate in society as independently and fully as possible. Our commitment to building for people with a disability goes back to the 1970s. We contributed to the development of 'Geboden Toegang' (which would translate as 'access prescribed'), the nationally and internationally famous handbook for the accessible and usable design and construction for the physically impared.
A lot has changed since those days, and our commitment has continued to grow. It is expected that the ageing population will cause an increase in the quantitative demand for (rehabilitation) care, and that social change will lead to a change in qualitative demand, focusing on patients being in charge, and social integration. We translate this to topical concepts, based on the institution's vision, its relationship with neighbouring services and changes in the design and organization of care. This way, we create contemporary environments in which people feel at ease; a safe and optimistic environment that encourages and challenges people, and especially gives them hope and prospects.
THE PRECISION-FOCUSED USERS INSPIRE TIME AND AGAIN OUR STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS POSSESS THE DRIVE TO REALIZE THAT DEGREE OF PERFECTION
We have ample experience designing complex hospitals. Inextricably bound up with these are pharmacies, which come in many shapes and sizes: hospital pharmacies, outpatient pharmacies, ward pharmacies, out of hours pharmacies and production pharmacies. The services offered vary per hospital. Whereas the one hospital will have an extensive department with a production pharmacy, a laboratory and a department for research and logistics, another hospital will have a much more limited array of services, or may even have outsourced the facilities.
As a result of our experience designing pharmacies in many guises, our knowledge has continued to develop and we achieve a high degree of perfection. The precision-focused pharmacy users inspire us time and again. Our structural engineers, who know the importance of a perfect connection between installations and finishings, also possess that drive to achieve this degree of perfection. In this regard, our knowledge of GMP-classifications and laboratory classifications is important to achieve responsible solutions. This way, we design and realize pleasant, perfectly detailed work spaces in beautiful pharmacies with inviting distribution areas and a good working climate.
The number of radiation therapy bunkers in the Netherlands is growing fast. We have designed radiotherapy departments in top clinical and university hospitals such as the Verbeeten Institute, Erasmus MC, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis and the University Medical Center Utrecht. In our design, we always focus on the well-being and experience of the patient.
The number of private clinics, or independent treatment centres, is growing slowly but steadily. Because these centres are often highly specialized (oncology, ophthalmology, surgery, orthopaedics), designing them also requires specialist knowledge. We have been designing healthcare buildings for many years, and possess specific technical and architectural expertise for every specialist field.
For our private clinics, too, our concepts focus on the people - patients and employees. By doing so, we realize the required additional quality for our clients. They emphatically consider their patients to be customers, and strive for high-quality care with minimal waiting times. And along with the increase in competition in healthcare, the importance of being customer-oriented is growing as well. The clinic must attract patients and commit its employees. To do so, it is not only the quality of care that is important, but also the character and appearance of the building. This means that we are always looking for the optimum in functionality and experience, in keeping with the client's vision. We look for agreeable, positive environments for patients and a pleasant working space for professionals.
In the search for the right building strategy, hospital boards, their advisors and property owners increasingly consider embedding the core hospital into an environment with a healthcare boulevard. Often, this is a strategic choice.
Firstly, this is about medical and intrinsic healthcare collaboration between the hospital and other institutions. In addition, positioning a hospital in a healthcare boulevard contributes to the social integration of the hospital in the neighbourhood. By choosing the right tenants (e.g. pharmacy, medical supplies store, blood bank or population screening), healthy people can also be drawn to the hospital grounds. By adding neighbourhood services to the concept, a further mix of hospital visitors and neighbourhood residents is created. Services such as catering and lifestyle and health shops contribute to a positive experience of the area. Externalizing the hospital's public services (such as the employee and visitor restaurant and the day-care centre) creates a physical connection between experiencing the area and experiencing the hospital.
We have ample experience designing for the healthcare sector, but also with designing office and retail buildings. As a consequence, EGM is involved in the development of some of the largest and most important healthcare boulevards of the Netherlands, such as the Healthcare Boulevard Rotterdam, the Gezondheidspark (Health Park) in Dordrecht, and the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in 's-Hertogenbosch. These hospitals each have their own healthcare boulevard.
This means we look beyond creating an architecturally sound building. We also bear the collaboration between several different parties in mind, and are a natural discussion partner for project developers who undertake comparable initiatives, as well as healthcare professionals. Leading the separate parties to a joint goal: a well-functioning complex, an environment in which visitors feel at ease. An environment that is part of society as a result of good urban planning. That is our goal.