Since May 2012, Phoenix-based Banner Health has opened seven freestanding health centers in Arizona and Colorado to join its roster of hospital-based facilities.
At the same time, Banner has added a series of leased health care spaces, usually in existing office parks.
The new buildings would be little more than isolated clinics if not for the facilities, biomedical and information technology (IT) infrastructure that streams data from these outposts into Banner's Mesa, Ariz., corporate office, which houses the organization's data center as well as its 24/7 facilities monitoring operation, according to an article in Health Facilities Management magazine.
"I just can't emphasize enough the importance of having that remote facilities monitoring capability," Dan Dupaix, mechanical engineer for Banner's development and construction group, said in the article.
As health systems work to deliver community- and home-based primary care, they also are primed to handle a much more acute hospital patient population.
"I believe patients who will be utilizing hospitals in the future will be much more critical in terms of health care needs as lower-acuity care moves from the central hospital into more freestanding facilities," said Todd Wilkening, director of facilities at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minn., which operates 13 off-site facilities.
This increased hospital intensity will require changes in the hospital's mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP) and technology infrastructure that will lower operational costs on the one hand while improving the hospital's ability to reach out to the system's other facilities on the other, according to the article.
Read the article.