Medical Construction & Design

JAN-FEB 2016

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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30 Medical Construction & Design | JA N UA RY/ F EBRUA RY 2016 | MCDM AG.COM BY LARRY ARNDT The healthcare law underscores the importance of the physical spaces in which people administer and receive healthcare. Financial payments and incentives are set to drive higher quality, outcomes, patient satisfaction, integrated care and expanded access for previously uninsured or underinsured people to improve patient well-being, or population health. Healthcare organizations increasingly see the need for fl exible, modern facilities to meet these new requirements and succeed in the era of value-based care. More than two-thirds, or 68 per- cent, of healthcare providers believe that improving the physical healthcare facility environment has a substantial impact on patient experiences, accord- ing to a Mortenson Construction survey of more than 300 attendees at the 2015 ASHE Planning, Design, and Construction Summit. Improving patient experience is a priority because the healthcare law requires Medicare to include patient satisfaction metrics in how it calculates value-based payments to hospitals. A majority of surveyed providers say upgrading and updating facilities also con- tributes to achieving other key initiatives, all of which directly or indirectly impact a hospital's or health system's healthcare law ef orts: » Drive better staf recruiting and retention — 59% » Infl uence where patients go for treatment — 57% » Enhance patient outcomes — 54% » Increase staf satisfaction and ef ectiveness — 51% Ef ciency + access Adapting facilities to support health- care law goals tends to fall into two broad categories: improving ef ciency and improving access. On the ef ciency front, hospitals are focused on both cost reduction and better, faster care delivery. Hospitals are tackling the issue of access in a number of ways, too, from leveraging technology to of ering telemedicine to opening new locations and reconfi guring existing facilities. In some cases, of course, hospital initiatives achieve both better access and lower cost, such as adding more ambu- latory sites. These hub-and-spoke care settings can be less expensive to operate, while adding multiple outpatient centers makes it easier for people to receive ser- vices in their own communities without traveling to the main hospital. These ef orts require capital. Nearly 74 percent of healthcare providers plan major investments in ambulatory care within the next two years, according to the survey. At the same time, 72 percent of providers say they also will be invest- ing in traditional hospitals. That's because hospitals will continue to serve as core facilities for many providers even while expanding ambulatory options. Leveraging physical environment for greater ef ciency Already operating with historically thin margins, hospitals have absorbed $122 billion in reimbursement cuts and bad debt since 2010, according to the American Hospital Association. Making do with lower payments and facing new healthcare law mandates have sharpened hospital focus on fi nding ways to cut facil- ity operating costs without hurting patient care. Two areas where changes to facility layouts and operations can make a big dif erence are work and patient fl ows and energy ef ciency. Making every step count The drive to achieve designs that enable more ef cient workfl ows and patient movement is nearly universal, with 74 percent of providers saying they have substantial interest in these ef orts and another 24 percent saying they have mod- erate interest in such initiatives, according to survey results. As part of a $300-million renova- tion and bed tower addition, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois is reworking its physical lay- out to better integrate services and to reduce steps for both patients and clini- cians. Improvements range from mov- ing the cath lab next to the emergency ISSUE FOCUS HEALTHCARE LAW SETS PACE FOR FLEXIBLE, MODERN SPACES DRIVING EFFICIENCY Gustavo Frazao/ AFFORDABLE CARE AGE Source: 2015 Mortenson Healthcare Industry Study 70% of healthcare providers recently surveyed believe the ACA will succeed in shifting reimbursements from "fee for service" to "quality of outcomes." 76% of healthcare providers surveyed feel optimistic/very optimistic about the future of U.S. healthcare.

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