For the past two days I have been in California working with a well-known construction company and architectural firm designing the hospital of the future. Due to the proprietary nature of project, I can't go into specifics with this post but I always begin such projects from the premise: What must we unlearn?
For example, perhaps, we should unlearn the idea of who the customer is. Every hospital claims it wants to "serve the community." If they are serious about this idea than they must also focus on non-customers. in other words, a true community hospital needs to continuously look for ways to "push" preventative information medicine out into the broader community so that its citizens never need to visit the hospital in the first place.
Hospitals must also unlearn the idea of the doctor-patient relationship. Today, patients and their social networking often know just as much — if not a lot more — about their disease than the doctor. The hospital of the future must acknowledge this reality and be designed in such a way that information can flow freely between all parties.
Another thing hospitals must unlearn is the waiting room. One strategy to think differently about the hospital of the future is to focus on the "exit" room. What information does the patient need so that he or she doesn't need to return to the hospital?
I have a lot more ideas but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.