Everything in the world is getting more expensive, including healthcare. Leaders across the country are looking for ways to cut costs with already shrinking budgets while improving the safety and quality experience that meets the expectations of the modern patient. With an eye toward innovative solutions for growing and maximizing business, savings begin with the design and efficiencies of facilities.
As our society plans for future generations and the health of our planet, environmental health is a top priority and an expectation of many patients and surrounding communities. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifies green buildings making them facilities suitable for the earth, people, and business. These green buildings are a key element in providing healing environments for patients and adequate workspaces for employees. They offer cost savings for design and construction approaches for organizations with sustainable opportunities in energy and materials.
- Energy. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, renewable energy is the fastest growing source of energy in the United States illustrating greater access available to these opportunities. Some examples of how this comes to life for healthcare facilities can look like solar cell panels that help power facilities, rainwater harvesting and green roofs for irrigating the facilities landscaping, low flow plumbing throughout, or selecting appliances and machines that use less energy.
- Materials. A philosophy that is foundational for sustainable material selection is understanding the ‘true cost’ of a product while accounting for its environmental and social impacts. In addition to being good for your bottom line, using locally sourced and recycled materials supports a smaller carbon footprint, local economic wellness and relations and underscores healthcare organizations’ overall commitment to the health of their communities.
Not only is there a need to keep the actual cost in mind, but organizations need to account for the long-term cost of materials, such as the lifecycle of material, cleaning needs, and ongoing maintenance. For example, it will be more cost effective to purchase a slightly more expensive material now that handles wear and tear better because you will not have to replace it as often.
During construction, offsite prefabrications can save time, ensure safety, and reduce packaging and delivery waste.
|“LEED-certified green buildings have 25% lower energy use compared to the national average and reduce operational costs by 19% compared to the national average.” (Department of Energy, 2011)|
Significant research shows that environmental designs like private patient rooms, noise reduction, and exposure to plants and natural light, among other design strategies, can positively affect patient outcomes and limit safety issues. In turn, these design decisions can foster healing and reduce the cost of care for patients and healthcare organizations.
Check out our whitepaper 'Improving Healthcare Experiences and Outcomes through Environmental Design' for insights on environmental design and action steps you can take with your teams.
Operations and Functional Technology
Having a design and construction partner who operates with a Lean Six Sigma method helps you to reduce all types of waste, find process efficiencies, and minimize operational variation. Taking these learnings and instilling it into the organization will help foster a culture of productivity and support cost savings.
With new-age healthcare design and technology, the possibilities are endless. Shifting to technology driven self-service models creates a repeatable patient experience. Some ways organizations can do this include implementing Alexa or Siri like systems in patient rooms that control their room preferences like lights, temperature and television by voice command or installing tablets to eliminate paper and printing waste or ordering services. Informational kiosks for patient registration and wayfinding can also help avoid long wait times and enhance the patient experience.
Both quality design and technology allow you to optimize your workforce and shift the focus on high-yield profit opportunities that expand upon their skills and enable them to work at the top of their licenses. This results in the organization saving money and supporting employee personal development and engagement.
Not only do all of these areas influence patient satisfaction by driving brand loyalty and informing success metrics for government reimbursement programs, but they help cut costs in the long-term lifecycle and maintenance of the facilities.
Building Facilities of the Future
We understand the cost-cutting pressures healthcare is under and we pride ourselves on leveraging best practices, a full design and build execution team and project and price transparency every step of the way.
Reach out to DBSI here for more information.
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