|  Lab: Research Journals

Pediatric care and the built environments that support it have been experiencing rapid disinvestment in the United States—regional and local pediatric units are being shut down throughout the country.1,2,3,4,5 There is an urgent need to rethink modern pediatric care models that include low-budget and equitable solutions to meet the growing needs of the population. This research provides key insights for micro-hospital development to fill gaps in access, delivery, and quality of pediatric care. Evidence and experience-based design methods were used to analyze the feasibility of pediatric micro-hospitals. A narrative literature review of 40 articles and three case studies were conducted to better understand the complexities of pediatric design and the micro-hospital model. Interviews with architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) and healthcare professionals were conducted to better understand the current trends and best practices in pediatric care (N=10). A survey was conducted to capture perspectives of children (n=2), their parents and caregivers (n=15), health care providers (n=6), and AEC professionals (n=14) about the current state and future potential for modernization of pediatric environments (N=37).

This research resulted in the development of a proposed model for a pediatric micro-hospital, conditions to operate in urban and suburban environments, and implementation tools for future development. Micro-hospitals for pediatric populations offer a patient-centered, economic, and sustainable solution to address the pediatric care crisis. Pediatric micro-hospitals as a future model of care have significant potential to address current and future capacity problems in pediatric care. An interdisciplinary design approach is necessary for successful implementation of future pediatric micro-hospital care models.


This article originally appeared in Vol 15.01 of the Perkins&Will Research Journal. CLICK HERE to see the whole article.