These are uncertain times in the broader national legislative agenda, especially on the healthcare front. Uncovering where and how patient care resources will be allocated are left to be known, but a new report from JLL shows that five trends have developed to illustrate how healthcare real estate can be used to improve patient care, reduce costs, adapt to shifting reimbursement models and respond to competitive challenges
“Healthcare executives recognize they can’t sit still waiting for healthcare reform and reimbursement models to sort themselves out,” says Peter Bulgarelli, Executive Managing Director at JLL Corporate Solutions. “Patient convenience, better outcomes and reduced costs are possible if you set a real estate strategy today to deliver the right care in the right places tomorrow.”
With or without complete healthcare reform, these five trends will surely make their presence known this year and forthcoming years:
Trend 1: Build in room for change. As more outpatient facilities pop up all over the country, these spaces are becoming more flexible. Forward-looking healthcare providers are building or buying facilities that potentially could be repurposed. After all, today’s freestanding emergency room may need to become an outpatient clinic tomorrow. As demand for services evolves, real estate will need to evolve as well.
Trend 2: Digging deep to stretch real estate dollars. Growing networks of outpatient facilities have led to large, complex real estate portfolios that generate a high volume of critical data. Using sophisticated insights and analytics tools, healthcare executives are making more informed decisions. They’re consolidating administrative services into low-cost office locations or leasing vacant land parcels to generate revenue until the time is right for new construction or refurbishment.
Trend 3: Meeting patients where they are with convenient, flexible facilities. Hospitals and health systems are shrinking the number of inpatient beds and thinking like retailers. New distributed footprints include outpatient services located closer to where patients live, in places like supermarkets, drugstores and a growing number of off-campus medical office buildings.
Trend 4: Leveraging demographics, data and analytics. Smart site selection requires tools like the ones retailers use. Advanced data and insights platforms can visually integrate every data point that matters in a location decision — from real estate market trends and prices to neighborhood and competition from other providers.
Trend 5: Optimizing facilities management to reduce risk. More locations on the map mean more facilities risks, like deferred maintenance. A burst water pipe can quickly escalate beyond a facility concern and lead to a reputational issue for the entire brand. Centralizing FM can deliver common standards and consistent processes across a health system, reducing risk and ensuring a high-quality patient experience across the board.
For more insights on healthcare real estate strategies, download The Right Place for the Right Care: 2017 U.S. Healthcare Outlook / JLL.