Have We Seen the Last of the Megahospitals?
With a handful of exceptions that are still in various phases of construction (including the Parkland project, and a few others), it seems that the days of the mega-million dollar hospital project have for the most part become a relic of a bygone age. The double-barrel blasts of the recent recession and the topsy-turvy world of healthcare reform (and Obamacare) have had the combined effect of limiting building across the board (and not just in healthcare), but especially so for these large-scale hospital projects that were so prevalent over the course of the last decade.
The real question is, of course, will these projects go the way of the dinosaur, or are they simply taking a long winter's nap? As I wrote in another recent blog, some health systems like the Cleveland Clinic are still working hard to expand their footprints, but are doing so with multiple smaller-scale building projects that increase reach, operational effectiveness, and brand identity without going large. Will the rest of the healthcare world follow their model eventually, leaning toward quantity over mass?
I suspect yes. While the Obamacare issue is still very much up in the air, one thing that is certain is that change is coming, like it or not, and that the coming years look to be far less certain times for multimillion dollar investments. Add to that the growing movement towards leaning healthcare practices to maximize efficiency and minimize errors, and you can see how it might all add up to smaller, more efficient buildings that proactively treat people to keep them healthy with hospitals reserved for only the very sickest patients.
What do you see coming over the horizon as far as building sizes go? Share your thoughts below, or drop me an email by clicking here.