A Prescription for Change in the World of Healthcare

DIRTT walling in a medical center. Office furniture

Recently, industry leaders from hospitals, design firms and construction companies were in Phoenix. They came together for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering Planning, Design and Construction Summit. That’s a mouthful, so let’s just call it what everyone there called it: ASHE PDC. The focus was to get together and trade ideas on how to make healthcare spaces the best they can be. Members of the DIRTT team were there and here’s what they learned. 

Adaptation is crucial

Over the course of three days, there were more than 60 sessions. No matter the topic, in most cases the big take away was adaptability. Change is coming to every corner of healthcare. Organizations that want to stake a claim on their future must change, too. On all fronts. In a lot of cases, that starts with the buildings these healthcare providers are in. 

Disruption is here

Profit margins in healthcare are shrinking. This isn’t news. But now high-profile disruptors like Amazon and Apple are opening their own clinics. CVS acquired health insurance provider Aetna to increase their presence. These players are taking on low-complexity, high-profit patients. That puts more pressure on healthcare provider’s bottom line. Administrators need to do more with less. That means a trend towards renovating old spaces instead of building new ones. To ensure return on investment, those spaces have to be as useful as possible. What should those spaces look like? And how do they work? 

Take it all off-site

During one ASHE PDC session, experts broke down data they got from designers, administrators and consultants in a three-year poll. Off-site fabrication has become at thing.  Almost 65% of those who answered have used off-site fabrication. And 97% can see the value in it. It’s easy to see why.  Going prefabricated means fast installs. Clean job sites. Speed to market. It makes a lot of sense. And makes your dollars go farther.  

Take time to plan for future tech

For teams designing hospitals, technology is always top of mind. Tech evolves fast. Five years is an eternity when you want to stay on the cutting edge. Hospitals need a way to future-proof their spaces and protect their investments. But how can you plan for something that doesn’t even exist yet? 

Modular construction is a great option. The pieces go together like high-tech LEGO®. They come apart, too. Knowing that, you can design the best room that works for you right now. Then, when you find a piece of tech that improves the patient experience, just swap it in. Take a panel off a wall instead of tearing it down. Run new electrical or data cabling without having to shut down the whole space. An update that would take three days with traditional construction takes three hours with a modular solution. Nobody wants to renovate their renovation, but knowing you can doesn’t hurt. 


Inspired Workplace Interiors