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Kaiser’s Design Challenge: Create a Small, Efficient, Green Hospital

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Health care provider Kaiser Permanante usually builds sprawling, massive hospital campuses, but that’s not necessary in small towns and other communities where Kaiser hopes to expand. So this week, the company launched the “Small Hospital, Big Idea” competition, which challenges entrants–including students, designers, architects, and engineers–to design a small, efficient, and affordable hospital.

Kaiser explains:

Your challenge is to conceptualize a new approach to delivering
inpatient care to our members in new or underserved communities. The
ideal model will use technology and innovative design to remove barriers
to care, increase collaboration among our staff and between clinicians,
patients, and their families. It should foster innovation, and create
staffing efficiencies that allow us to deliver care to patients
effectively and affordably. Designs will be judged on these criteria: innovation; reduces life cycle costs; incorporates ways to improve health care; flexibility; efficiency; and environment of care.

That’s not all. Kaiser’s first-ever design competition also wants entrants to figure out how to increase staff productivity, cut down on unnecessary activity, minimize waste, incorporate cutting-edge medical technologies, and adapt to expansion needs.

The reward is, of course, considerable: up to $750,000, and the opportunity to contract with Kaiser to build a small hospital in Southern California. The prototype small hospital could then be used as the inspiration for similar buildings in Kaiser’s network (36 hospitals and almost 500 medical office buildings in nine states and Washington, D.C.).

Want to try your hand at hospital design? Check out Kaiser’s site.

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Ariel Schwartz can be reached by email.AS