My last post about five trends shaping the next 10 years of healthcare facility design and construction prompted some interesting responses.
Kurt Neubek, FAIA, Principal and Firmwide Healthcare Practice Leader at Page Southerland Page, sent me a detailed email in which he said that he agreed that the five trends I identified are among the most influential.
He also offered three more important trends and some thoughts for how design teams can be successful in this ever-changing world of healthcare:
The ability to research costs and outcomes data for various tests and procedures along with crowd-sourced apps for patient feedback are allowing healthcare consumers to make better-informed decisions, which changes where their business goes. Because of this, patient outcomes and the patient/family experience matter more now than ever and that trend will only increase.
A related trend is that large self-insured companies and some insurance companies are sending patients (often far away) to a Center of Excellence where the outcomes are much more favorable than average.
Not only is the U.S. population adding more people to the age demographic with the highest use of healthcare, but the average age of nurses (now at 43.5 years old) continues to increase. And we’ve all heard about COVID-driven burnout and departures from the healthcare workforce.
These trends will exacerbate staff shortages, increasing the importance of architects and designers who understand how to design facilities for efficient staffing.
With more and more people in the U.S. being covered by Medicare, there will be continued political pressure to further reduce what CMS pays healthcare providers, forcing more innovation and value-based care. This will put even more pressure on providers to reduce the cost of care, continuing the shift to the lowest cost facility for care, requiring Owner/Architect/Contractor teams to keep on driving down the cost of new and renovated facilities.
Hospitals and health systems who have not embraced Lean Construction methods, standardized and prototyped facilities, prefabrication, etc., will need to get on that bandwagon soon.
In conclusion, Kurt stated that good design still matters. He thinks that design teams that will be in the most demand are those who:
Thank you, Kurt, for your great insights!