Recently, HKS and Herman Miller conducted a study to identify the challenges and impediments to operational flexibility within the built environment. Interestingly, three out of the 11 impediments to operational flexibility are related to the use and implementation of information technology applications, devices, and infrastructure. Sadly, the very operational processes that we thought would enhance the function of our buildings were never implemented, were only partially implemented, or were resisted by key stakeholders. And, all of these operational processes required an interface with information technology. It pains me to see front-line caregivers struggle to meet the increasing demands of higher acuities, regulatory requirements, and less staff when the very tools and environments we design to help them are disjointed. Moving toward a holistic integration between the built environment and information technology to enhance the quality of patient care and the quality of the environments we create will require a multi-faceted approach.
Is it enough to have IT stakeholders at the table early in the process? How should information technology be integrated into the design process? In regards to IT, what are the questions we should be asking our clients, ourselves, and our consultants before we embark upon a building project? What is the right perspective for optimal implementation?

Your comments are welcome.