Healthcare construction spending could double in 2017. Where will those dollars be targeted as healthcare consumers become more sophisticated and demanding?
Healthcare is in the midst of another construction boom.
The American Institute of Architects this summer forecast that healthcare sector construction in 2017 is expected to double from the $19.6 billion spent in 2016, a year that also saw robust growth.
"The demographics are incredibly favorable on the long run for healthcare," AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in an August conference call. "Seniors consume a lot of healthcare services, and as baby boomers are moving into their late 60s and 70s, we expect to see a lot of construction in the healthcare sector."
It will be fascinating to observe the speculating and strategizing—and guessing—on where the industry is headed as hospital boards and C-suites float bonds, pour slab, and grid rebar in a $1.7 trillion sector that could change healthcare delivery models before the concrete dries.
Partners at E4H, the architectural firm that specializes in healthcare projects, have identified five design trends that they believe will grow in the coming year. E4H Partner Rod Booze says the trends are aligned with what increasingly sophisticated and demanding consumers say they want and have come to expect.
These mini hospitals are 24/7, small-scale inpatient facilities, anywhere from 15,000 to 50,000 square feet, with five-to-15 inpatient beds for observation and short stays.
They offer services similar to larger hospitals, including ER, pharmacy, lab, radiology and surgery. They also provide easy access for patients and cost-effective market growth opportunities for providers.
There are about 50 of these hospitals in the United States, mostly in mid-western and southern states, but Booze expects their numbers to grow, rapidly.
John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.