Conventional wisdom says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Unless, of course, you’re talking about the health care industry, where it seems far more appropriate to say: “The more things change, well, the more they change.”
And as the health care industry goes, so go the facilities that serve health care, as reported in the 2015 Health Facilities Management construction survey, which is one of the feature stories in this issue of Infrastructure News. The new emphasis on population health and community-based care means delivering health care the most cost-effective way possible.
To meet the change, more than half of hospitals and health systems are repurposing space or considering the idea as they transition to value-based payment models, and more patients receive care at local, ambulatory facilities, according to data in our exclusive survey.
Survey respondents commented that relocating or repurposing space in hospitals is becoming more of a priority as the number of patients’ seeking care at hospitals declines. The result? The boom in new construction is over for now and taking a backseat to health care systems’ determining how to reuse vacant space.
No matter the space where care is delivered, there are essential services that must be maintained. Another feature in this issue covers how to keep those systems up and running through a disruption in service, such as a water outage.
Beyond the hazards of losing water for clinical needs and operational functions such as instrument sterilization, food preparation and environmental services, a loss of water also could damage or render inoperable crucial medical and infrastructure equipment. This story offers advice and resources on how to get through such a crisis.
Flexibility is the key to ensuring that physical plants and all the associated infrastructure are still useful in the face of changes in how and where health care facilities are used. Another story addresses this additional challenge — just one more that facility managers and their staffs must deal with in an ever-changing world of health care.
What won’t change is our promise to try and help you do your job better. That you can count on.