While healthcare is shrouded in uncertainty today, a new report from JLL shines a light on what is shaping the future of how and where patient care is delivered. As new revenue sources and efficiencies are explored, JLL’s Healthcare Outlook Report: The Right Place for the Right Care, highlights how real estate can play an increasingly influential role in achieving sustained financial stability and success.
“Healthcare executives recognize they can’t sit still waiting for healthcare reform and reimbursement models to sort themselves out,” said Peter Bulgarelli, Executive Managing Director, JLL Corporate Solutions. “Patient convenience, better outcomes, and reduced costs are possible if you set a real estate strategy today to deliver the right care in the right places tomorrow.”
Five trends have emerged to illustrate how healthcare real estate can be used to improve patient care, reduce costs, adapt to shifting reimbursement models, and respond to competitive challenges.
Trend 1: Build in room for change. As more outpatient facilities pop up all over the country, these spaces are becoming more flexible. Forward-looking healthcare providers are building or buying facilities that potentially could be repurposed. After all, today’s freestanding emergency room may need to become an outpatient clinic tomorrow. As demand for services evolves, real estate will need to evolve as well.
Trend 2: Digging deep to stretch real estate dollars. Growing networks of outpatient facilities have led to large, complex real estate portfolios that generate a high volume of critical data. Using sophisticated insights and analytics tools, healthcare executives are making more informed decisions. They’re consolidating administrative services into low-cost office locations or leasing vacant land parcels to generate revenue until the time is right for new construction or refurbishment.
Trend 3: Meeting patients where they are with convenient, flexible facilities. Hospitals and health systems are shrinking the number of inpatient beds and thinking like retailers. New distributed footprints include outpatient services located closer to where patients live, in places like supermarkets, drugstores, and a growing number of off-campus medical office buildings.
Trend 4: Leveraging demographics, data and analytics. Smart site selection requires tools like the ones retailers use. Advanced data and insights platforms can visually integrate every data point that matters in a location decision—from real estate market trends and prices to neighborhood and competition from other providers.
“Data and analytics can inform big-picture decisions, such as whether disparate facilities should be consolidated or whether a network could enter an underserved neighborhood,” said Bulgarelli. “The availability of real-time data and powerful analytics and insights tools is changing the game for healthcare providers, making it faster and easier to access new markets.”
Trend 5: Optimizing facilities management to reduce risk. More locations on the map mean more facility risks, like deferred maintenance. A burst water pipe can quickly escalate beyond a facility concern and lead to a reputational issue for the entire brand. Centralizing facility management can deliver common standards and consistent processes across a health system, reducing risk and ensuring a high-quality patient experience across the board.
For more insights on healthcare real estate strategies, download The Right Place for the Right Care report.