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Facilities planning for the community hospital of the future

HammerNewly-designed community hospitals are slimming down, re-purposing some areas, and relocating functions off campus, according to this interesting article by a senior exec at a facilities planning consulting firm.  As accountable care organizations (ACOs) develop, hospitals will become a point on the continuum of care rather than the focus of the health care delivery system.

There will continue to be a role for flagship hospitals.  Community hospitals of around 150 beds will right-size at about 2000 to 2250 BGSF / bed (building gross square feet), down from 2500 BGSF per bed.  Nursing unit size used to be around 700 DGSF / bed (departmental gross square feet) — now it is moving down to 550 to 650 DGSF/bed in several example projects that the author mentions.  Observation room, at 180 SF, can be used to reduce the number of inpatient beds needed.  The purpose of lobbies is being re-thought to give them multiple uses.  Hospital support functions can be moved offsite and consolidated for those facilities part of larger systems.

Source: Skolnick, C.  Capital ideas: health facility planning in the post-reform era.  Health Facilities Management;26(4):23-28, Apr. 2013.  Click here for full text: http://www.hfmmagazine.com/hfmmagazine/jsp/articledisplay.jsp?dcrpath=HFMMAGAZINE/Article/data/04APR2013/0413HFM_FEA_planning  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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