The forum, which included panelists from the healthcare design and construction industry, focused on the future of healthcare, especially after the previous night’s election. What is absolutely certain is that change is happening on all levels of healthcare from hospitals and patient care, to doctors, to insurance.
Some of the topics discussed include:
- The continuing the trend of moving toward more patient-friendly designs, including the concept of micro hospitals, which Kansas City’s St. Luke’s Hospital is looking to employ. Micro hospitals serve two purposes; convenience for patients being closer to their homes, and more personalized care.
- Part of the consolidation of healthcare systems includes continued major investment in becoming more integrated with technology, especially within their own network to better share patient information and tracking of records.
- How the aging population is driving up healthcare costs through chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. This is also increase the cost per square foot of construction in medical facilities.
- Architects and engineers are being asked more and more to be more cost effective in the facility design. New software (for example, upgrades to 3D design software and virtual reality) are enabling the architects and engineers to immediately see the cost changes as a building is being designed and modified.
- Virtual reality technology is becoming more prevalent when designing a building and enabling the end user to see the facility before construction begins.
- The Affordable Care Act—yes, there are problems, but the ACA did do one thing right, and everyone agreed, that the ACA lead the movement toward healthier living to prevent illness.
- In-company services are becoming more and more popular, e.g. Burns & McDonnell offers employees a pharmacy, clinic, daycare, etc., on-site and facilitates wellness programs with its employees. That is an increasing trend for companies that can afford it.