Astorino, an architectural and engineering firm based in Pittsburgh, completed the design of two disease prevention and screening centers (DPSC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In partnership with Peddle Thorp Architects, Astorino was retained by Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), to plan and design two replacement DPSC centers—one in Khalifa City and the other in the city of Mussafah. As two of five DPSC centers run by SEHA in the Emirates, the centers provide physician, laboratory, radiology, and vaccination services for all new expatriates who arrive in Abu Dhabi for employment to qualify in obtaining a residency visa.
Both facilities under consideration were already experiencing large customer volumes (2,000 per day) and projecting their volumes to increase by 50-75% over the next few years.
The firms’s challenge was to design the new facilities to achieve a more efficient customer rotation, while at the same time create an environment that offers a hospitable and secure welcome to those arriving in Abu Dhabi for the first time.
Astorino employed various levels of research to inform the design of the centers, combining process improvement with experiential design research techniques. Its healthcare advisory team utilized Lean process improvement tools to produce a more efficient design through the use of process-oriented observation and timing exercises.
By developing an understanding of the screening process flow of the centers, the team was able to make recommendations for improvement. The firm also engaged the services of its user-centered research group, fathom, which conducted one-on-one, in-depth interviews with staff, physicians, and customers to define the ideal sensory experience and determine how it can be manifested in physical space as well as through operational enhancements.