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Healthcare Construction Leans More Toward Outpatient Structures

One of the most promising avenues for construction projects to fully recover from the last recession is healthcare. New developments continue to pop up in the healthcare field, but there has been a significant shift toward more outpatient structures and facilities rather than traditional hospitals.
Take the case of Hutchinson Campus, a $152-million expansion on New York’s Montefiore Health System. The facility boasts 280,000 square feet of hospital function space spanning 12 floors, and is designed to be an outpatient and ambulatory care center. The same is true in Texas, with Tenet Healthcare Corp. developing the Resolute Health Campus, with 56 acres of outpatient-focused services. The Texas facility is equipped with several retail and office spaces, a fitness center, green spaces, and walking trails.

This shift to outpatient services is aligned with the recent objective of the 36th Annual Healthcare Construction & Design Survey by Modern Healthcare, as well as the inclination of the Affordable Care Act to favor outpatient care.

Past metrics monitor bed counts to assess how profitable or stable a hospital is. That’s not the case these days, said Skanska USA Healthcare Center of Excellence national director Andrew Quirk. “A person lying in a bed raises your risk profile... It's completely reversed itself,” said Quirk. This change in perspective by the health care industry should be taken not as a problem by construction companies but rather as an opportunity for development. “It's almost re-energizing the industry... It's driving efficiency into the way healthcare is delivered,” Quirk added.

A related survey revealed that 28 percent of respondents feel the shift towards more outpatient services would mean more jobs for construction workers.

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