For hospitals across the U.S., lower occupancy rates and higher costs have caused healthcare facilities to rethink how they deliver healthcare to their communities.
Construction of outpatient facilities has significantly risen across the board, according to a 2016 hospital construction survey by Health Facilities Management.
Since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for healthcare reform in 2012, hospitals have been faced with shrinking reimbursements that affect patients with higher deductibles. This, along with less overnight stays, has created a trend of lower occupancy rates for many hospitals across the country.
These two factors mean healthcare facilities need to think about reinventing the best way to deliver healthcare to their community, as patients seek out solutions that are cost-effective, convenient and timely.
Patients’ access to healthcare information has never been greater, which gives them the ability to make more informed decisions. For healthcare facilities, their consumer base is now highly educated and value conscious.
So, how are healthcare providers responding?
There has been a growing trend to move facilities closer to where patients live and work. That means a move away from bigger, one-size-fits-all hospitals to more community-focused clinics offering more convenience to patients. As healthcare costs continue to increase, this trend is expected to grow due to the cost effectiveness and flexibility of hyper-localization.
Healthcare facilities are now going to retail and hospitality design principles to give their facilities a fresh face that speaks to the new lifestyle design trend across the nation. Facilities are also updating their interior design, with an emphasis on more lighting and fresh interior furnishings, to give patients a more spa-like experience.
All our healthcare clients are concerned about the quality of the patient experience, Eric Schoppman, president of Schoppman Company, said. “This ensures the patient has an enjoyable experience, so they return for another visit if and when required.
As healthcare construction and design continues to evolve, speed and flexibility will be the two most important factors moving forward. When constructing newer, hyper-localized facilities, the goal is a fast turnaround time to allow healthcare providers to begin servicing patients as soon as possible. To achieve this goal, greater communication is required from the outset of the project between the owner, design professionals, and general contractor.
Provided by Steve Sperling