The healthcare industry is a complex and high-threshold sector that requires significant expertise in various fields, including engineering, design, medicine, architecture, humanities, marketing, and health regulations. As such, the early stages of hospital construction demand rigorous planning and consideration of numerous factors. This article explores the key elements that must be addressed during the initial phase of hospital construction.
1. Analyzing the Local Market Positioning
Before embarking on a hospital construction project, it is crucial to analyze the local market positioning. This entails understanding the target population’s healthcare needs, the competitive landscape, and the potential gaps in service. This information can help inform the hospital’s design, service offerings, and overall strategy.
How to analyze the local market positioning in the early stage of hospital construction?
Assessing the current and projected demand for hospital services in the area, such as behavioral health, emergency care, imaging, etc.
Evaluating the existing and potential competitors in the hospital market, such as other hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care clinics, etc.
Identifying the unique strengths and weaknesses of the hospital project, such as location, design, technology, staff, etc.
Developing a strategy to differentiate the hospital project from other providers and attract patients, staff, and partners.
2. Feasibility Report
A comprehensive feasibility report is essential in the early stages of hospital construction. This report should address the project’s financial viability, construction timelines, and regulatory compliance requirements. Additionally, the feasibility report should assess the hospital’s potential for expansion, the availability of resources, and any environmental or social impacts of the project. A well-prepared feasibility report can help secure funding and support from stakeholders, ensuring the project’s success.
How to make a complete feasibility report in the initial stage of hospital construction?
A market analysis that assesses the demand and supply of hospital services in the area, the competition, and the potential patient population.
A financial analysis that estimates the costs and revenues of the project, the sources of funding, and the expected return on investment.
A technical analysis that evaluates the availability and suitability of equipment, technology, staff, and physical space for the project.
An operational analysis that outlines the services to be provided, the policies and procedures to be followed, and the licenses and accreditations to be obtained.
3. Assembling a Competent Team
A skilled and experienced team is vital for any hospital construction project. This team should comprise professionals from various disciplines, such as architects, engineers, medical experts, project managers, and financial analysts. These specialists will collaborate to ensure the hospital’s design, construction, and operation align with industry standards, regulations, and the local community’s needs.
How to build a good team in the initial stage of hospital construction?
Define a clear and shared purpose for the project that aligns with the hospital’s mission and vision.
Select team members who have relevant experience, skills, and knowledge for the project.
Establish effective communication channels and protocols among team members and stakeholders.
Encourage collaboration, feedback, and problem-solving among team members.
Conduct regular team meetings and reviews to monitor progress, address issues, and celebrate achievements.
Engage in team building activities that foster trust, cooperation, and creativity among team members.
4. Engaging a One-Stop Service Provider
Hospital construction projects can benefit immensely from partnering with a one-stop service provider. These companies offer a range of services, including:
Clinical Design & Planning: Creating a functional and efficient layout that caters to the hospital’s specific needs.
Room Planning & Scheduling: Ensuring optimal space allocation for various departments and services.
Define the purpose and objectives of each department and service, such as the type and scope of services, the target population, and the expected outcomes.
Conduct a market analysis and a feasibility study to assess the demand and supply of hospital services in the area, the competition, and the financial viability of the project.
Divide the hospital into functional units based on their interrelationships and workflows, such as inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, administrative, and service units.
Promote staff efficiency by minimizing distance of necessary travel between frequently used spaces.
Allow easy visual supervision of patients by limited staff.
Include all needed spaces, but no redundant ones. This requires careful pre-design programming.
Make efficient use of space by locating support spaces so that they may be shared by adjacent functional areas, and by making prudent use of multi-purpose spaces.
Consolidate outpatient functions for more efficient operation—on first floor, if possible—for direct access by outpatients.
Optimize patient-to-hospital allocation taking into account the constrained resources of the hospital network and emergency ambulance service.
Device Performance Specifications: Defining the required performance criteria for all medical equipment.
The manufacturers’ instructions and recommendations for maintaining, inspecting, and testing the equipment：
The accepted standards of practice for medical equipment management, such as the American National Standards Institute/Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation handbook ANSI/AAMI EQ56: 2013.
The objective performance criteria (OPC) developed by the FDA and sponsors to compare a new device’s performance to existing devices in certain device areas.
The key performance indicators (KPI) that measure the effectiveness of hospital services and processes related to the equipment.The risk ranking system that evaluates the equipment function, clinical application, and infection control risk of each equipment.
Pricing & Procurement: Sourcing and purchasing the necessary medical equipment and construction materials at competitive prices.
Develop a comprehensive procurement strategy that includes sourcing, purchasing, and supplier management.
Work closely with engineers and project management teams to identify the materials and equipment required for each project.
Use a supply chain information system to manage the inventory, ordering, delivery, and payment of products and services.
Negotiate contracts and prices with suppliers based on quality, reliability, and performance criteria.
Participate in a supplier diversity program to increase opportunities for small and diverse businesses.Testing, Commissioning, Training & Implementation: Ensuring all systems and equipment function correctly and that staff are adequately trained.
Compliance & Policies: Ensuring the hospital meets all relevant health regulations and guidelines.
Medical Equipment Maintenance: Implementing regular maintenance schedules and procedures for medical equipment.
Maintain a written policy that describes all medical equipment maintenance procedures, including infection control, reporting, testing, and documentation.
Conduct a routine visual inspection for apparent defects at least monthly and remove any faulty equipment for repair by an authorized technician.
Conduct an electrical safety testing inspection by a certified electrician or biomedical engineer annually in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
Use a supply chain information system or a medical equipment maintenance log to track the inventory, ordering, delivery, and payment of products and services.
Clean and sterilize the equipment and sensors after each use according to the manufacturer’s, federal, and state health policy and OSHA regulations.
Delete all personal health information and physiologic data from the equipment following each use.
Operational Life Cycle Replacement: Planning for the replacement of equipment and infrastructure as it reaches the end of its useful life.
The medical industry is a high-threshold sector, characterized by high policy, technology, and human resource barriers. The complexity of hospital construction projects demands careful planning, coordination, and expertise. By considering the elements outlined above during the early stages of hospital construction, project leaders can enhance the facility’s operational performance and patient satisfaction, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the hospital.