Dealing with flood risks at your medical practice
With flooding causing havoc on Australia’s east coast, medical practices are on alert. Performing such an essential role in the community means there is no time for down-time. Medical fit-out company Evoke Projects offers timely advice to deal with flood risks.
Flood risk assessment and practice continuity plan
- Review your insurance coverage
- Conduct a flood risk assessment to determine the best options for reducing risk and ensuring practice continuity
- Check roofs, gutters, downpipes and drains for leaks and overflows while it is raining
- Consider the impact of water ingress on medical equipment and patient records
- Understand the potential maximum flood level for your medical practice location and how that worst case scenario will impact your building and your patient care (both emergency care and during the flood recovery period)
Be ready to support the community
If your medical practice is at risk of flooding, your community is also at risk. You may have to deal with local health issues such as injuries, electric shocks and water/mosquito-borne diseases. Consider a tetanus vaccination clinic or patient information sheets about mental health and physical well-being in the event of a flood. This will also raise your medical practice’s profile in the community.
Prepare the medical fit-out
These actions will help you prepare, recover quickly and assist your community.
- If you currently store patient records on paper, move to electronic record keeping with off-site/cloud back-up
- Make sure your telephone and appointment/telehealth system will cope in an emergency situation and during the recovery period
- Clean and repair all gutters, downpipes and drains
- Re-landscape the exterior to divert water flow away from essential buildings and medical equipment
- Install new drainage and anti-backflow valves
- Add more air vents and weep holes into the structure
- Improve airflow in high risk spaces
- Purchase fans and pumps to expedite drying out of a wet or flooded space
- Install barriers to prevent water ingress – temporary barriers can be built in the short term, but permanent barriers will be a better investment
- Install new watertight external doors and re-seal existing doors
- Relocate critical medical equipment to higher floors
- Move utility supplies, sockets and meters above the maximum predicted flood level for the location
A new medical fit-out is the best defence
Ideally, your plan to combat flooding will allow for a new medical design and fit-out. This will give you the greatest scope to future proof your healthcare practice against flooding.
As an example of how a new interior design can help to combat flooding, let’s look at the new commercial fit-out of Birdon, an Australian manufacturing and marine company based in Port Macquarie, NSW. Evoke Project’s workplace design brief was to create an inviting and employee-focused space within a challenging, existing, older building. The premises was in a flood prone area and had been affected by high flood waters in recent years.
To alleviate the flooding issues, hard, cleanable and durable finishes were employed for health and safety and to future proof the fit-out. When using flood-appropriate materials and solid finishes such as brick, ceramic tiles and powder coated metal, acoustics can be tricker to maintain and achieve. To counteract the reverberation of the hard surfaces, Evoke’s interior design team used feature acoustic wall cladding and ceiling panels to help with acoustics, and to soften and add interest to the spaces.
Choose your medical fit-out partner carefully
With the building sector under pressure from rising material costs, interest rates and labour shortages, it is important to select a reliable and financially secure medical fit-out partner.
At Evoke Projects, we employ our own team of architectural designers, engineers and builders. We manage the complete construction and medical fit-out process This gives us total in-house control and oversight. It gives you a project manager as a single point of contact, shorter time frames, simple contract administration, transparency around costs, excellent communication throughout the process and peace of mind.
Our experience in workplace design and flood mitigation makes us the ideal and safe partner to help you combat flooding risks in your medical practice.
Please contact Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692 for more information on medical design and fit-out.