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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Addressing COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Future of Prison Healthcare

Addressing COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Future of Prison Healthcare

As the second wave of COVID-19 hammers communities around the world, governments and health organizations are working to diminish risk in our most vulnerable populations. Prisons pose particular challenges for staff, policymakers, and designers alike. Much like long-term care facilities that are experiencing devastating breakouts, prisons by nature are enclosed spaces that render social distancing difficult—especially when respiratory infections like COVID can spread readily.

COVID-19 is a threat to the people who live and who work within prisons. Staff members also risk inadvertently spreading the virus to their families and communities. Tackling the unique issues that prisons face can improve the well-being of those living and working in prisons and communities—today and into the future.

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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | 2020 Parkin Architects Year In Review

2020 Parkin Architects Year In Review

As we look back on 2020, we would like to thank our staff, partners, and all team members for their hard work and dedication over this past year. This year has not been easy, but it has been rewarding to be able to contribute our services to the community and work with amazing teams.  We look forward to the coming year and the opportunity to achieve great things together in 2021.

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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Environmental Design Solutions to Reduce Medication Errors in Healthcare Facilities

Environmental Design Solutions to Reduce Medication Errors in Healthcare Facilities

“Patient centered care needs to include careful consideration of the caregiver work environment.” – Brent Whiteley, Vice-President, Parkin Architects

Medication errors constitute one of the most common types of preventable adverse events leading to patient harm and fatalities in healthcare facilities today. According to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, drug- and fluid-related incidents are the second most common type of adverse healthcare events in Canada.

These errors can occur anywhere along the healthcare process, from initial prescription ordering, dispensing and administration, to the updating of medication records. A combination of social, cognitive, organizational/systems, and environmental factors all contribute to the potential for human error, including worker fatigue, workspace layout, lighting, climate control, and noise levels.

Human error is inevitable, but research over the past 20 years indicates that the design of a healthcare facility’s physical environment can have a significant impact on patient safety and staff performance. By assessing latent environmental conditions that led to human error, designers can develop solutions using evidence-based design principles to deliver more focused and efficient work and patient spaces that support staff and, ultimately, reduce potentially harmful mistakes.

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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Top Trends in Modern Laboratory Design

Top Trends in Modern Laboratory Design

“Today’s laboratories have to be designed to accommodate an unanticiptable future.” – David Driscoll, Principal, Parkin Architects

Laboratory design has undergone significant changes in recent years. Major breakthroughs in scientific research, combined with an escalating demand for sophisticated analytical equipment, have created new demands on the laboratory environment. It has become increasingly important to design labs that are functionally efficient and readily adaptable to inevitable changes. Laboratory environments must allow laboratory personnel to work as productively, efficiently, and safely as possible. The incorporation of a Lean workflow can be accommodated only if the lab components can be rearranged to allow the improved flow to be realized.

Here are the top trends that Parkin incorporates into its lab designs. Each of these design elements works in tandem to create a more sustainable, creative and welcoming environment for researchers and staff. Read more

© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Patient-Centred Bedroom Design at Winnipeg’s HSC Women’s Hospital

Patient-Centred Bedroom Design at Winnipeg’s HSC Women’s Hospital

In early December of 2019, Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Women’s Hospital began welcoming its first patients. The new 388,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility was designed using best practices for enhanced patient care and efficient workflows. The design features a two-story entrance forecourt, a soaring five-story atrium, and the facility is wrapped with abundant glazing invite natural light, keeping patients, staff, and visitors connected to the outside world.

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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Capturing the Healing Effects of Nature in Mental Health Facility Design

Capturing the Healing Effects of Nature in Mental Health Facility Design

In our previous blog post, we explored the history of mental health facility design and the role nature plays in healing. The evidence is clear that a connection with nature helps people recover more quickly and improves long-term health outcomes. Natural environments also enhance employee well-being and may contribute to lower staff turnover. Spending time in or just viewing green spaces can lower our heart rates, reduce muscle tension, and decrease the production of stress hormones.

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© Parkin Architects Ltd. | Nature’s Impact in Mental Health Facilities

Nature’s Impact in Mental Health Facilities

Elements of nature have always been used for healing purposes, to help people restore their health both physically and mentally. We’ve all experienced the rejuvenating benefits of nature, and often look to find ways of incorporating it into our everyday life, including within healthcare facilities and hospital design.

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