Bisnow recently ran an article under the carefully worded headline, "Millennials Are Putting Hospitals Out of Business." The word "hospitals" in the title means that while a certain type of health care facility may be in decline, the total facility landscape is not.

The author explains that although the number of hospitals within the Washington, D.C., area will shrink by 25 percent, the number of health facilities is growing as health systems reinvent themselves to capture a young and growing market. Rather than pushing patients into one large, remote location, health systems are pushing smaller facilities into their patients' neighborhoods.

The health care real estate market isn't the only health care subsector responding to millennial trends; the design community is also studying and reacting to this large population of about 80 million.

Architect Elizabeth Cox says there are several demographic trends particular to millennials that architects should consider when working on new projects, including a population that is ethnically diverse, has mastered digital technology, is highly educated, and is predicted to outpace predecessors with higher instances of chronic disease based on current obesity rates.

"If we truly espouse a sustainable approach to health care design, we must ask ourselves if the decisions we make today are planned to meet the current needs while permitting hospitals to fulfill their obligation to the future generations," Cox writes.


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