Planning for health emergencies can be enhanced with accurate information on the movement of staff, patients and visitors

We work with people movement insights to advise architects, estate managers and trusts to optimise the design and use of their healthcare facilities. In doing so, we build operational resilience and protect the safety and comfort of their building users.

- For new hospital designs, we work with architects and clinical design  teams to plan the movement of people throughout the buildings, ensuring  that space is optimised and  right-sized. 

- For  existing hospitals, we capture data on the movements and processes of  patients, visitors and staff throughout the hospital and find operational efficiencies.

- We test fire evacuation strategies to ensure  the healthcare site is compliant and safe.​

In the Covid-19 environment operational response and resilience are paramount

Hospitals and healthcare facilities must adapt quickly to the introduction of social distancing measures to maintain their service continuity while protecting the health of their staff and visitors. Following the initial response phase, estate managers must ensure they have the necessary resiliency plans for other exceptional periods of demand.

Our large, multi-disciplinary team originate from 16 different countries and speak 17 different languages. Our strengths are drawn from this unique blend of skills and knowledge, complemented by our real-life experience of crowd management and venue operations.

We are pioneers in crowd modelling as well as the development of world-renowned visitor experiences. Our extensive portfolio of tools includes our own SENSE™ modelling software and ‘off the shelf’ dynamic microsimulations, such as Legion, Pathfinder, Spaceworks, massmotion, viswalk and Pedestrian Dynamics. We utilise the most appropriate tools to deliver the best results for each project.

Our approach

We work with our clients to understand their challenges and objectives. We utilise a range of tools and the extensive experience of our team to deliver a bespoke solution to help address our client’s challenges promptly.

Typically we begin by collecting detailed information on the current operations of the hospital or of similar sites (if advising during the design stage). The information contains on-site observations, data analytics, guidance reviews and more. Using this benchmark, we perform analysis ranging from a single ward layout assessment to a full-site evacuation simulation. From this, we generate insights to develop a design that meets the expected patient demand and visitor experience aspirations or determine how to more efficiently manage an existing facility.  

Assessment of patient, visitor and staff flow

We collate and collect data on existing user behaviours and circulation patterns to inform operational decisions and management plans. This process can ensure that space is optimised and right-sized and options are assessed to improve the use of space and streamline processes. This could include advising on processes to reduce staff journey times, mitigate/manage waiting and queueing times and improve throughput and capacity, assess capacity or reuse areas and evacuation routes in different scenarios.

We can also asses site wide movement through the connectivity of buildings across the site and quantify the flows of patients, staff and visitors.

We conduct simulation modelling to assess the movement of patients and staff circulating through healthcare facilities. 2D and 3D dynamic simulations provide visualization and a “feel” of a space”.​ Simulation also enables evaluation of multiple emergency scenarios including horizontal and vertical evacuation.

Evacuation strategies

We can estimate the evacuation performance of an existing building over a range of emergency scenarios using dynamic simulations to account for varying patient dependencies, the use of specialist evacuation equipment, etc, to advice on management strategies or the minimum provision of equipment/staff to ensure compliance and improve performance.

We test fire evacuation strategies to ensure the design is compliant and safe.

Assessment includes the calculation of expected fire evacuation times and advice on improvements to horizontal and vertical evacuation procedures.

You can read more about how we are supporting Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust in their planning of Covid-19 social distancing strategies here.

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