In this series, healthcare design Leading healthcare design professionals, companies, and owners are asked to tell us what caught their attention and share some thoughts on the topic.
Ray A Wong, healthcare market leader Architects Baker Barrios (Tampa, Florida), shares his thoughts on emerging market disruptors that should be on the radars of healthcare design firms.
- The neglected consumer sector
Talk about an aging population has grown significantly over the past 18 months, as we have struggled to maintain the health and safety of one of our nation’s most sensitive demographics. Funding for COVID-related clinical care has understandably been prioritized over the baby-boom generation while at the same time we have advocated for convenience and virtual care for millennials. But what is the cost of this younger demographic? Prioritizing convenience and virtual care, over the traditional patient-physician experience, risks underestimating the extent to which personalized care positively affects diagnosis, intervention, and ultimately outcomes. Healthcare designers have the opportunity to step back and think about how the next tsunami of chronic disease, detected in later and more severe stages, will affect hospitals as we know them. The industry is uniquely positioned to help mitigate this with design that brings together the best that the future has to offer in the form of architecture, technology, systems, research, best practices, and artificial intelligence.
- Unconventional factors in market turmoil
Changes in pandemic-driven behavior, particularly those focused on avoiding exposure to COVID-19, have led to unprecedented growth in healthcare market disruptions such as real-time analytics, tech-enabled retail (eg Amazon), and big tech disruption (eg. example, Google) and default diagnostic platforms. Virtual care, for example, although long-established, only recently moved into the lexicon of the average American. These changes have been widely adopted, but most importantly they strongly indicate they are here to stay. Healthcare designers will need to extend their knowledge and understanding of non-traditional healthcare influences to appreciate their impact on established healthcare design prototypes. Home care, virtual care, digital pharmacies, telediagnostics, and digital therapeutics will provide opportunities for healthcare design to reimagine the future of the modular care delivery space.
- Supporting value-based treatment models
The future of ever-rising health care costs is untenable. What was once considered an idealistic vision, aligning the results in relation to the cost of care, has become strictness A model in which the cost of health care can be controlled. Capitation, Accountable Care, Pay-for-Performance, and Value-Based Purchasing are value-based payment models that have demonstrated cost-reduction advantages beyond the outdated fee-for-service model. Healthcare design will increasingly need to direct its expertise to support healthcare systems cost reduction efforts through data-driven and evidence-based design that supports patient satisfaction efforts, improves care outcomes, reduces length of stay, and supports employee morale and staff efficiency. In short, traditional design considerations such as daylight, materials that support noise mitigation strategies and color palette selection will move from purely aesthetic considerations to realistic, revenue-generating design opportunities.
- market shifts
It appears that many of the factors driving growth towards the outpatient market are the same as those driving volume downturn on the inpatient part. For example, changing volumes in cardiology and orthopedic service lines is inversely correlated, leading to growth on the outpatient side of a similar volume to corresponding volume reduction on the inpatient side. Extrapolating the significance and implications of these healthcare trends will depend largely on the healthcare design industry’s ability to grow its experience base to include the same business, marketing, and regulatory considerations that frame everyday conversations with clients. In short, the industry will need to embrace its increasingly growing role as trusted partners and advisors to healthcare systems looking to understand what these changes mean for capital improvement budgets, the way projects will be financed, and growing healthcare real estate portfolios. .
- Medicaid reimbursement
Medicaid’s recent explosion of growth will undoubtedly have implications far beyond the care delivery chain and into the practical constraints of the caregiving business. Complicating matters is the real potential for current Medicaid numbers to change dramatically again, once we fully weather the current public health emergency. But why should healthcare design care? Simply put, regulatory considerations, particularly those that affect our customers’ bottom line profits, have a strong cascading effect on all industries associated with the healthcare sector. The same lifeline that protects those who may become uninsured also helps protect healthcare systems and all those associated with the healthcare industry, including architects and designers. The relationship is real, and it has far-reaching implications for everyone involved.
Want to share your top 5? Contact Managing Editor Tracey Walker at [email protected] For submission instructions.