Healthcare offerings are changing as providers and innovators seek to offer care in ways and settings that are convenient for the communities they serve. “Part of the innovation is to get the patient to the most efficient point in the health system for the interaction they need to have today,” said Tom Andriola, vice president and chief information officer for the University of California System. “We’re not trying to build more hospitals. We’re trying to use the ones we have efficiently.”
A big part of what is driving healthcare to where it is most convenient for patients is new technology that allows telephone or video conference meetings, better scheduling, more streamlined service and even a team of experts on call to assist a practitioner in a rural location with a specific treatment.
But it is not all about technology. It is also about where appointments are being made, whether that is at a local pharmacy, in a clinic on a corporate campus or even in an individual’s home. These moves continue to bring more healthcare services out of the hospital setting, making better use of the beds there for more specialized or acute cases while more routine and preventive care moves to where it is more accessible for patients.
This in turn is shaping how medical buildings are designed and built. In California, where hospitals are working to meet strict seismic guidelines, there are advantages to having those buildings be as efficient as possible and move more services to other medical buildings that need to follow less-rigorous seismic requirements. All of these topics were discussed at Bisnow’s recent all-day National Healthcare NorCal event at The Fairmont San Francisco. Panels discussed construction, design and consumer demand when it comes to accessing healthcare.
Healthcare providers are starting to re-examine the services that are needed within each community.
The default is to think that each community needs a hospital and everything in it, but that is not really the case, said Dr. Denise Brown, Vituity’s chief strategy officer and executive vice president.
“You don’t actually need the hospital there. What you need is access to care that could happen somewhere else,” she said.