7 predictions for healthcare facilities design in 2018

E4H Environments for Health Architecture — a design and construction firm that focuses exclusively on healthcare — released a report detailing their predictions for healthcare facility design in 2018.

Here are seven facility design predictions for 2018, according to E4H.

1. Behavioral health will drive emergency department renovations. Hospitals across the nation are recognizing a need to accommodate patients battling mental health and addiction issues. E4H is predicting that ED design will change in 2018 to provide a separate area to treat these individuals more effectively and more sensitively.

2. Virtual reality will become a useful planning tool for hospital design leaders. Virtual reality will help healthcare leaders envision and design complex spaces such as operating rooms or MRI suites.

3. More microhospitals will pop-up across the country. Constructing microhospitals — which generally have five to 15-beds, are between 15,000 to 50,000-square-feet and are accessible 24-hours a day — is becoming a more popular, cost-effective strategy. In 2018, E4H believes there will be more of these across the U.S. due to recent changes to a CMS policy regarding reimbursement schedules for satellite facilities.

4. Hospitals will begin to make room for telehealth. A recent analysis from Sg2, a healthcare consulting firm, predicts that the volume of virtual health visits will increase 7 percent in the next two years. As the demand for telehealth grows, hospitals will need to incorporate telehealth services into their master plans. This can include configuring treatment rooms to accommodate remote consultations and adjusting lobbies or common spaces to include kiosks for patients to register.

5. The healthcare industry will move toward providing more consumer-friendly environments. As healthcare becomes more consumer-driven, E4H is predicting that hospitals will begin taking a cue from the hospitality industry, to create environments that feel more like hotel rooms than hospitals. In some scenarios, after receiving treatment as a hospital inpatient, patients may require monitoring for complications but do not need a full suite of hospital inpatient services. In this scenario, patients may not want to continue staying in a setting that feels like a hospital.

6. Healthcare will move into more retail locations. Because convenience is a main driver for patients, established retail locations will become even more attractive to healthcare facility designers in 2018.

7. Acute care needs will increase. Even though many healthcare services are moving from inpatient settings to outpatient settings, the demand for acute, inpatient care will grow as the Baby Boomers age.

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