Fremont, CA: When healthcare facilities need to change a patient-focused space, removing barriers that cause disruption, downtime, and health and safety are critical elements to manage.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these pressures and created new ones. It has forced hospitals and other healthcare facilities to quickly adapt their spaces to handle an overwhelming and unprecedented surge in patients, protect caregivers, and remain fully operational while doing both.
The challenge? Construction in an occupied healthcare space has intense requirements that, if not met, can mean delays, ballooning budgets, and risks to care.
What’s behind this shift to prefab and modular construction solutions in the healthcare sector? We’ve identified these three trends shaping healthcare leaders’ decision-making.
Hospitals Budgets are Being Lessened
A major challenge for healthcare facilities is rising costs amid a steadily growing patient population. In the US, for example, those cost pressures are combined with a drop in reimbursements from public and private insurance, putting a tighter squeeze on margins.
For many, the only place to mitigate costs is in their space by repurposing the built environment with minimal disruption to healthcare services.
Off-site solutions paired with precision manufacturing provide cost-effective construction for hospitals by enabling the rapid adjustment of space with little or no downtime.
Telehealth Makes Demand for New Tech-First Spaces
A recent report from McKinsey shows healthcare providers are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before the pandemic. The report forecasts that up to $250 billion of current US healthcare spending could be focused on virtual care in the coming years.
The surge in digital healthcare services is forcing providers to change their collaboration spaces. Facilities need additional environments that better accommodate computer equipment, including more electrical outlets, secure access to high-speed networks with increased bandwidth as well as data and online storage.
Off-site, modular construction can help address the demand for different kinds of healthcare spaces in the short term, as well as to adapt to meet shifting demands in the future. For example, modular construction can include wall panels with built-in electrical and network access infrastructure.
Why does this matter? In the short term, off-site construction means faster timelines and safer installation because fewer people are needed on a job site. In the long term, modular construction allows for easy access to change wall panels and reconfigure space, whether that’s adding more electrical outlets or doubling the size of the room.