MODERNISATION OF EXISTING HOSPITALS
Free (open access)
239 - 246
Progress in medicine and development of medical technologies directly affect the evolution of methods for treating patients in hospitals. The main task of 19th-century hospitals was patient care and nursing, while the aim of hospitals today is to diagnose and treat patients effectively in the shortest time possible. The changes which are taking place in methods of treatment affect the functional-spatial layout of hospitals. This means, in the case of existing hospitals, that it is necessary to perform regular modernisations. Modernisation is connected with the functioning of every single hospital – assuming that medical equipment has to be replaced approximately every 10 years, it is possible that in the hospitals which were built only a dozen years ago it will be necessary to modernise certain units. As hospitals are among the buildings which are the most complex ones, both functionally and technologically, their modernisation is also a complicated and difficult process. Modernisation makes it necessary to take into consideration a number of requirements, which are sometimes difficult to reconcile, such as those connected with medical procedures, legal provisions and regulations, welfare of patients, as well as protection of historic substance in the case of historic hospitals. The oldest hospitals still functioning in Poland date back to the turn of the 20th century. Hospitals built in the second half of the 20th century constitute the second, largest group. This paper analyses the most significant features of hospitals, depending on their age, as well as the changes to which the most important hospital units are subjected. It discusses the possibilities and ways of modernising both historic hospitals and those which were built since the 1950s. The summary attempts to answer the question whether it is possible to find a universal methodology for modernising existing hospitals.
hospital architecture, hospital modernisation