As we enter 2022, many of the safety precautions and protocols that we’ve put in place over the last couple of years have not changed. Staffing, supply, and healthcare challenges still present themselves. Fortunately, these issues are reshaping healthcare real estate and development projects for the better heading into 2022.
1. Inpatient Facility Expansion
According to the American Hospital Association, nearly 1/5 of all healthcare facilities in the United States will need expansion soon. As healthcare needs increase, healthcare systems are prioritizing expansion projects that increase the ability to serve more patients. This trend has already started and is likely to expand in 2022 with a specific focus on supplementary operating suites, auxiliary departments, and larger waiting rooms.
2. Repurposing Vacant Buildings for Medical Purposes
Some health systems are opting to repurpose vacant buildings and not just limit their new expansion projects to new construction. By using adaptive reuse, former big-box stores can be converted to provide health systems within the community. Not only can these facilities save money, but they project positive impacts including stimulating the economy, decreasing crime, and increasing property values. Healthcare systems looking to repurpose vacant buildings in a cost-effective manner should work with a healthcare architect or advisor to consider the feasibility, structural challenges, and patient experience and sustainability of the project.
3. Staffing Shortages
Healthcare labor markets are no exception to the staff shortages we’re currently seeing. For this industry, the need for healthcare growth will force contractors to hire 430,00 more employees in 2022 and one million more in the next two years to keep up with increased project demands. Health systems working with contractors should pay particular attention to timing requirements so that they know the remedies available if the contractor fails to adequately staff the project and complete the contract on time.