In the modern healthcare environment, both IDNs and hospital systems strive for a few things in particular: improved quality of care; outstanding patient satisfaction, growing capacity meant to provide better integrated healthcare, and cutting costs.
Because of this, it is likely that healthcare facility expansions or new construction are likely an option for you, whether now or in the near future—which means forward thinking and planning leads will be needed.
Unlike other businesses, however, healthcare facility construction has strict laws and guidelines, with checks and balances conducted and maintained through every step of the process. Starting with selecting the right products, planning the space they go in, the actual capital purchasing and finally planning a cohesive delivery schedule takes a lot of work and a lot of input from all the stakeholders.
Below are some insights that healthcare consultant Margaux Sprinkel of Franklin Street shared that can help you successfully drive your facility expansion projects while keeping an eye on capital spending:
1: You aren’t just building a new site; you're building excitement within your community.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a timeline for press releases and promotions. “One of the most common mistakes facilities make is waiting too long to engage with the public,” Sprinkel says. It's your job to dig into public opinion early in the planning process, and to be clear about the advantages of your expansion or new construction and why it is need.
Your promotional activities can include:
- Your new facility will be closer to growing residential areas.
- Your focus is on becoming a technologically advanced treatment center.
- Your physicians and staff are focusing on the future of superior patient care.
The best way to engage your community is to schedule speaking engagements, question-answer sessions, and even town hall meetings. Some groups you particularly want to consider are:
- EMS and fire department(s)
- Your current or future healthcare workers and staff
- Facilities maintenance staff
- Hospital volunteers
Also, don’t forget about fundraising projects that target support for your foundation from the philanthropic community—building a core of support with powerful people capable of funding your project for a good cause are essential to not only your new construction, but your long term success.
Including members of the community in your grand opening, as well as including giveaways, educational and health-informative booths and events for children will help your foundation’s membership and pledge information.
2: This is the time for you & your team(s) to make a thorough inventory.
Another key part of creating a successful new construction project is assessing your equipment and considering using radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging so you can know the exact location and quantities of your equipment at any given time.
Eliminating waste in supplies wherever possible starts with you discovering which parts of your inventory are underused, as well as checking with other facilities in your healthcare system to see if they have a need for the equipment you don’t use.
Similarly, you should also inventory service contracts to ensure you have the right level of coverage—while you want to maximize your equipment’s lifespan, 24/7 service coverage on a unit that only gets a few hours of use per day can actually be a waste of money. Look to reduce costs here. There are also ways to consolidate pricey contracts with one vendor to maximize savings and streamline processes.
3: Assets management & coordinated equipment delivery should work with your expansion project’s timeframe, not the equipment suppliers’.
For over a quarter century, healthcare system purchasing managers, GPO teams, equipment planners, and project managers have relied on CME for supply chain solutions because we know the planning and direct-to-site delivery process can be painful. We can help with the procurement, warehousing, staging, assembly, delivery direct to rooms, installation and even the biomedical asset tagging needed to open a new facility.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.