INSIDE A s any seasoned health care planner would tell you, “form follows function.” In other words, the way you intend to deliver health ser- vices to your patients should drive the size, configuration, adjacencies and design attributes of the space. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic brought immediate and significant changes to the management of patients seen in physician offices and ambulatory care centers, it is not surprising that myriad build- ing and facility “quick fixes” were implemented to support the radical change in outpatient care delivery. From patients using their cars as wait- ing rooms, to blue pieces of tape on the floor to ensure social distanc- ing, to makeshift COVID-19 screen- ing centers set up in hospital parking lots, the built envi- ronment had to be modified to support the primary goal of keeping patients and staff safe by reducing the trans- mission risk of COVID-19. As reported by the Common- wealth Fund in August, early in the pandemic, in-person ambulatory care visits declined by almost 60% due to a combination of patient safety concerns, rapid availability of telemedicine visits as an alternative and local government restrictions. Much of the speculation at that time was around whether outpa- tient volume would return and, if so, when and how much. By the end of July, in-person weekly ambulatory visit volume leveled off at just 10% below the prepandemic baseline and telemedicine visits plateaued at approximately 7% of the baseline visits. So while telemedicine visits have increased nearly sevenfold since February, patients have in fact returned to see their doctors (Meh- rotra, 2020). The questions to ask now are: • What does the ambulatory patient’s experience look like in this pandemic-aware world? • How will these changes in patient expectations and experience impact the design of clinics and ambulatory centers? To safely resume in-person out- patient visits, comply with Centers The coronavirus pandemic accelerates reevaluation of what defines a waiting room During the pandemic, wellness is more important than ever for seniors Waiting Being well PAGE 13 PAGE 15 Please see Page 17 Debbie Jacobs Director,West region, Catalyst, Haskell Co. Denver, Colorado Springs MOB sectors vibrant, growing and sought after Attractive PAGE 10 Impact of COVID-19 on medical office buildings October 2020