When Health Facilities Management (HFM) examined the hospital building market in last month's Trends in Health Care special issue, we noted the difficulty smaller health care facilities had in trying to finance construction and other capital improvement projects, even as their larger counterparts were seeing previously frozen financing options start to loosen up.

Now, to provide help to these hospitals, the American Hospital Association's (AHA's) Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative has published a free guide exploring seven strategies for analyzing a hospital's strategic financial position, identifying and evaluating financing options and locating sources of support, among other issues.

Written by Kaufman, Hall & Associates Inc., and produced in collaboration with the Health Research & Educational Trust and AHA Solutions, A Guide to Financing Strategies for Hospitals — With Special Consideration for Smaller Hospitals reinforces HFM's finding that market changes are accelerating hospitals' need for capital to fund facility modernization and expansion, information technology and other initiatives like physician employment and integration.

While the guide covers issues specifically related to smaller organizations, such as rural hospitals, critical access hospitals or stand-alone community hospitals, the strategies are applicable to all health care organizations, including multihospital systems, regional systems and hospitals that are part of a larger system.

The nation's health care organizations will need to make substantial investments in their facilities, technologies and people to create the delivery systems of the future. To learn more about how they can finance these changes, log on to www.hret.org/news/projects/guide-to-financing-strategies-for-hospitals.shtml.