CRTKL’s Ray Brower talks design and technology trends and recaps his recent BisNow panel.
Earlier this year, I spoke on the Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Real Estate forum hosted by Bisnow. Healthcare professionals from around the region gathered in D.C. to discuss the future of outpatient facility development, design and technology trends and the overall state of the Mid-Atlantic healthcare market.
Along with speakers from Children’s National Medical Center, JLL, Trammell Crow, Anchor Health Properties, Johns Hopkins and more, I took a deep look at some of the trends that will continue to affect the healthcare industry over the next few years.
Faced with significant reimbursement pressures, renewed competition across extended markets and payer demands for cost-effective care delivery options, providers are focused on developing new facilities that support high-quality coordinated care in the lowest-cost setting. In many cases, that includes development of new outpatient facilities, both on-campus and community-based, that enhance access, improve care coordination between hospitals and providers and reduce overall cost of care. These new outpatient facilities, strategically placed within an extended ambulatory network, are providing more sophisticated care closer to home, with an increased emphasis on lean operations, improved flow, hotel-like amenities, extended walk-in hours and connected care.
The New Retail?
Repurposing vacant retail space has become a new venue for outpatient services, providing a cost effective and timely solution for expansion of community-based services. These existing facilities can offer a valuable alternative to a traditional medical office building when base-building infrastructure can adequately support the increased demands of healthcare facilities. In addition, when speed to market matters, existing retail centers usually conform to healthcare business occupancy use and have adequate on-site parking, providing a faster alternative for outpatient facility development.
When considering community-based outpatient facility development, location matters, and in many cases poorly performing vacant retail centers do not align with a health system’s strategic plan. Most are located in areas where, over time, population centers have shifted and the site offers little strategic value.
There’s an App for That!
Historically, healthcare systems have used technology for business applications, electronic health records and digital convergence of clinical applications. Forward-looking practices now offer much more than email access. Online portals provide enhanced customer access 24-hours a day to make appointments, request prescription refills, get test results and consult with their physician. Technology is finally moving beyond an internal business application to one that enhances patient experience and satisfaction. New facility planning and design needs to evolve to take full advantage of future customer-focused technology applications that can improve access and expedite care delivery.
Ray is CallisonRTKL's national strategic planning practice group leader and senior medical planner. He has over 25 years of experience in healthcare strategic planning, pre-design operational programming, medical planning and project management. Since joining CallisonRTKL in 2001, his contributions have led to the success of a number of large-scale healthcare projects including VA Las Vegas Medical Center, Washington Adventist Hospital and Lowell General Hospital. His comprehensive experience in all facets of healthcare project development provides a unique understanding of hospital operations.