Patient Convenience will Redefine How and Where Care is Delivered in 2019 and Beyond

February 6, 2019

 In the throes of a transformation to value-based population health, healthcare leaders are finding inspiration in the retail industry to bring more convenient and affordable care to patients. With the industry in a state of flux, JLL has identified four trends for healthcare companies to get ahead of to enhance the patient experience, improve financial performance and unlock game-changing efficiencies.

“In an environment of continued transformation and uncertainty, health systems are learning from the retail industry about how to view patients as consumers and ensure their remote healthcare clinics are optimally located and provide the right mix of services,” said Richard Taylor, Executive Managing Director and leader of JLL’s Healthcare group. “Hospitals are sitting on significant amounts of underutilized real estate following intense M&A activity over the past several years. Adding off-campus clinics in retail settings makes their real estate portfolios even more complex.”

Four healthcare trends to watch

1) The transition to value-based care is inspiring new, nontraditional “providers” to enter the market. The continued transition to value-based care has opened the floodgates to unprecedented mergers and acquisitions. Traditional hospital consolidation is creating some of the largest systems in the country. Meanwhile, the entrance of new disruptors and mega mergers with payers and pharmaceutical companies have already ignited seismic shifts in the industry.  

As healthcare systems grow larger, they’re facing more exhaustive, complicated real estate needs. New kinds of healthcare organizations face an entirely different dilemma: There’s no blueprint for how to approach their unique real estate needs.

“Managing diverse, dispersed portfolios brings new challenges and increased pressure to develop more sophisticated and efficient approaches for real estate services through outsourcing, location selection, ongoing management and more,” Taylor said. “As a result, we expect more healthcare organizations to tap experienced corporate real estate facilities and consultancy partners to fill strategic gaps.”

2) Health systems will transition from “sick care” to “well care.” As health systems prepare for the future, JLL expects they will continue to acquire or develop more ambulatory surgery buildings, emergency clinics and micro-hospitals to more efficiently serve local communities. 

The entrance of more community-based, lower-cost healthcare facilities will help engage the population in “well care” rather than “sick care,” with patients seeing physicians before they develop acute illnesses that require expensive treatment. The management of care through an optimized network of diverse community facilities rather than a large, centralized facility improves the patient experience by empowering them with options and choice.

It’s healthy for the hospital balance sheet, too. Because outpatient centers are often less expensive to construct and operate than traditional hospitals, demand for remote care locations is growing quickly. 

3) The workplace will be essential in the war for talent amid an impending provider shortage. New research forecasts physician shortages in both primary and specialty care. In fact, the United States could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, impacting patient care across the nation, according toa new report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The data shows a projected shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by the end of the next decade. Complicating matters, the U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses that will likely intensify as baby boomers age and the need for healthcare grows, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Following the lead of technology companies and innovative corporations across other industries, forward-thinking health systems are exploring new workplace concepts that improve employee well-being, productivity, engagement and happiness. An engaging and inspiring workplace can attract and retain top talent, which is especially important in a tight labor market.

“Competitive shifts in the healthcare environment mean it’s no longer ‘business as usual’ where real estate is concerned. Industry leading healthcare organizations are beginning to explore how a fresh, data-driven approach to managing their facilities will support their broader business strategies, including talent recruitment and retention,” Taylor said. 

4) Hospital-acquired infections remain a threat to both patients and the bottom line. Although progress is being made to prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), the Center for Disease Control(CDC) estimates one in 25 hospital patients acquires at least one HAI. Additionally, a set of 14 hospital-acquired conditions that the CMS considers avoidable accounted for 48,771 adverse patient outcomes, 3,219 deaths and more than $2 billion in excess hospital costs in 2016, according to a new research brief.

The physical environment is fourth on the list of HAI causes, according to the CDC. While HAIs from treatment-related causes are actually decreasing, HAIs resulting from the environment of care may not be.Hospitals must consider how they can improve the design, maintenance and management of facilities—from ventilation systems to room décor—to reduce infection risks.

“A lack of urgency to address aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance in the buildings themselves can negatively impact patient care and cause compliance problems,” said George Mills, Director of Technical Operations, JLL Healthcare Solutions. “There is an opportunity to break down barriers between the C-Suite and the facilities team by giving facility management leaders a seat at the table to ensure leaders understand the financial and patient safety implications of the antiquated ‘it breaks, we fix it’ mentality. We hope to see more facilities leaders move from the boiler room to the board room in 2019.”

For further information, visit jll.com.

 

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