Healthcare facilities reinvented

From the growth in chronic, age-related illnesses to the increasing demand for access, transformational trends in healthcare are leading providers to test new approaches to bringing value to patients and the community.

New or reinvented facilities are an integral part of most plans, as providers strive to create attractive, patient-centred environments to deliver more efficient models of care, improve patient outcomes and experience, increase market share, and drive revenues.

Organisations seeking to combine growth with improvements in efficiency and the quality of care first need a clearly defined decision-making framework for infrastructure projects under consideration. Improved operational controls and procedures can help lower operating costs, enhance patient care and increase profitability.

In addition to lowering overall project and construction costs, a well-managed capital project implementation will bring the project in faster, leading to an earlier opening date and an earlier start to generating operating income.

Post-project, a thorough audit can lead to additional savings through a comprehensive review of the design and construction payment process. Assessing operations and performance against the project business case will show whether the organisation is realising the expected improvements.

How to improve market share in a competitive environment

Key elements in improving physician and patient satisfaction and growing market share include:

  • More efficiently designed space and tools to ensure physicians have access to the most effective technology, standardised, easy-to-navigate treatment areas, and appropriate support services.
  • Refurbishment or redesign of the facility to give it a more appealing look and feel to patients. This could include evidence-based design to promote wellness and healing, and improved patient amenities and services, centralised to provide "one-stop shopping" and minimise return visits for ancillary services.

How to finance capital improvement projects

Organisations seeking financing should consider the following steps:

  • Identify opportunities available through public-private partnerships (PPPs) – a growing presence in infrastructure projects. For best results, the government and private partners need to clearly define the responsibilities of each party and those to be shared.
  • Assess current operational practices and introduce enhancements to improve patient throughput, better utilise organisational resources and improve cash flow; the increased revenue can then be used to assess capital improvements.
  • Thoroughly evaluate market and program needs to ensure that the capital improvement is "right-sized" – the proper size to support the appropriate services in accordance with the proper operational procedures. This check will foster better use of financial resources and ensure that you are not overspending for a facility that is too big, or will have to redo an underplanned project that doesn’t meet defined needs.