If you’ve been following our company at all throughout the past 50+ years, you’ve probably heard us talk about healthcare construction and know that we’ve always had a strong focus on building innovative medical facilities and improving medical clinic construction. In fact, our first Design-Build project ever, was a long-term healthcare facility, so we’ve been doing it for quite some time.
We’ve learned a lot over the years regarding healthcare construction – the biggest of which is the importance that a healthcare builder have a very sound plan and vision for a medical facility. Long before a hammer can hit a nail or a shovel can break ground, there’s a lot of research and planning to be done.
Over the next few months, we’d like to let you in on our methodology a bit, as healthcare builders. It’s our secret sauce, if you will. Now, of course, we’re not gonna give away the farm, but you will take away some thinking that should help in your next healthcare renovation. We hope you enjoy.
The Business Assessment
First things first – a healthcare builder must first thoroughly understand your business. This is a nonnegotiable. This is an absolute. In order to cater to the pains of your patients, we must first understand your business model, your goals, your vision for the future, your anticipated growth. It’s basic business plan stuff – but stuff that we must be educated on before we can ever build the right facility for you.
Execution of our business assessment includes interviews with your staff to understand supply and demand in the service area, lots of walking the halls and reviewing recent historical data on inpatient and outpatient services. With this, we’ll sharpen our pencils and start to project future clinical volume for the next several years out. For our clients, this can be a very exciting step.
Additionally, this is when the healthcare builder will brief you on a few things we’ll look for you to provide over the course of our working relationship. This will include a range of documents from a strategic plan of the hospital to surveys of existing site conditions and soils information.
Architectural, Mechanical and Electrical-System Assessments
Before we start to work with your already existing facility, we’ll want to do a thorough investigation of the systems you already have in place. This is a responsibility of the Healthcare Planner on the job, the MEP/FP Engineer and the Project Developer.
We’ll want to do a thorough review of the existing hospital, as well as perform a facility evaluation to understand the current condition, limitations, code and regulatory compliance and potential reuse of your structure and its systems. We’ll report on the evaluation and we’ll begin preparing cost information that summarizes the expenses of our proposed changes to your medical facility.
Creating the Master Facility Plan
The next step, creating the Master Facility Plan, is a significant undertaking in the healthcare construction process but one we’re very well-versed in and have much experience executing.
In this step, we utilize data of the external and internal environment of the hospital to identify major trends and implications. We’ll review the existing strategic plan of the hospital and prepare an initial department space allocation program. At the end of this phase, we will have developed a preliminary conceptual site plan and architectural drawings.
Initial Financial Assessment
While we offer this step as an optional step, it’s very important that we stress its importance. This step includes evaluating initial credit assessment and debt capacity. This will help further strengthen your long-term plan for growth, and thus, make your facility better prepped for long-term success. In this step, if executed, funding options are reviewed.