Consolidating Space and Looking at New Sites
Last week I was talking with colleagues from the architectural and construction teams. They had a couple of interesting points about consolidating space and thoughts to keep in mind when looking at a new site that I wanted to share.
Identify the Specific Needs of Your Staff
Whether you’re building new, consolidating or redesigning, be sure to look at the particular needs of your staff, their ability to handle patient concerns, and how to ensure patient safety. Then be sure to take the next step and look at how you are set up to ensure staff safety as they perform their duties.
Look at the types of patients that you see at each site and determine the requirements they have as far as patient/staff interaction. Be sure to take those precise needs into account in the design stages. For example, bariatric patients need special facilities while staff may need additional equipment and processes to care for these patients. Are your facilities and areas supportive of this need and function? In the long run, it is much more costly on your operations if you have staff injuries due to a less than adequate work environment.
Share Facility Management Expenses
When consolidating spaces, explore opportunities to share the costs associated with property and facility management. You may find that you are able to reduce costs and overhead by eliminating the need for full-time employees or additional supplies. Look to the larger companies and negotiate on an outsourced basis, but be sure to expect and get the service levels you need.
If you’re getting ready to build on a new site, consider design/build where you can work with a developer that brings, at a minimum, the contractor and architect on board at the beginning of the project. By having the team together from the outset, you can speed up the process and avoid the costs of re-work. Design/build can also help keep your project within budget constraints, ensure that it fits on the site and see that it supports the scope of your organization’s work and the ability to grow in the future. Failure to consider any of these issues from the start could cost you more in the long run.