Progress Towards a Systems Approach in Planning Regionalized Health Care Facilities
The planning and design process is, in general, an iterative decision making procedure geared to achieving more or less identified ends through a variety of means. The process iterates through defining needs, establishing criteria, generating concepts and developing models to analyzing the qualitative and quantitative results of these models. Facilities are ultimately constructed, operated, evaluated and modified. In the setting of a health care system, the process becomes increasingly complex due to the diverse factors that must be considered, ranging from new drugs and medical equipment to government programs and regulations, plus community lifestyles and attitudes. In a regional health care system such as Kaiser-Permanente, the problems are further compounded due to the interfaci1ity sharing of medical services and the vertical integration of support services. In this dynamic environment, an orderly process is essential to maintain and improve efficiency and effectiveness.
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