The nation’s leading provider of healthcare services accomplishes its mission of delivering high-quality, cost-effective healthcare through a best-in-class philosophy that begins with a centralized core of design and construction professionals, moves to a network of DPOs (directors of plant operations), and spreads throughout each locally managed facility in the HCA portfolio. This integrated “partnership” - clearly, there’s no better word for it - is so effective because diverse groups (construction personnel, nurses, lab technicians, etc.) work toward the same goals for the end product (a building): the look of a facility, how it will support the company’s overall mission, how it will be maintained, and the life-cycle cost of this investment. During the design of every facility, HCA requires the inclusion of a plan for future expansion of several key clinical areas: the emergency department, imaging department, operating suite, and critical care and medical/surgical patient rooms. Following state codes and guidelines set by the American Institute of Architects, HCA has aggressively developed its own design standards that go beyond these requirements, taking a long-term view about decisions affecting building components and systems. For existing facilities, each hospital maintains its autonomy as an independent profit center and legal entity, while HCA Design and Construction provides corporate oversight over facilities upgrades, renovation, and management.
HCA is in a continual expansion mode, determining where the next hospital or addition should be built. Projects are selected, managed, and completed in a collaborative effort among an internal management group at the Nashville, TN, headquarters, where community needs, market conditions, operating costs, capital costs, and return on investment are analyzed; then, they are adapted to allow for more innovation and variance in the development of design. Clarity of objectives is key; real-time data is entered and monitored via an information content portal on the HCA Design and Construction website. Look for this industry innovator to take form and function in healthcare facilities to a whole new level over the next few years.