Hospital of the Future
Lessons for Inpatient Facility Planning and Strategy
An unprecedented opportunity
The next several decades will have no shortage of demand for high-end health care; recent reports of flatlining volumes are more an adjustment to unusually high growth rates in the early part of the decade than the harbinger of sustained volume declines. Accordingly, hospitals and health systems are spending billions of dollars to upgrade and expand their physical plants, even in the face of tremendous uncertainty about the nature of the future health care market—an unprecedented opportunity to remake the vision of acute care in the United States, but also a monumental financial risk.
Balancing competing demands
Even more than in the past, today’s new hospital facilities are asked to balance contradictory and competing demands: specialization and efficiency; high-end amenities and low operating costs; optimum clinical quality and minimized capital costs. Setting priorities and developing strategies for a new facility project is highly sensitive to assumptions about the future market, and no “one-size-fits-all” answer will suffice for every institution.
That said, we believe infrastructure investments directed toward improved clinical quality and best-in-class cost performance will provide a competitive advantage regardless of the nature of the future market. Accordingly, this study presents 16 lessons on building high-quality, low-cost inpatient facilities, organized around the critical implementation decisions associated with facility strategy: capacity needs, space planning, design choices, and the construction process.