Healthcare delivery 2.0: Rebranding a healthcare facility as a center of excellence
Today’s competitive healthcare landscape, insurance and ACA pressures, and an aging population are driving medical institutions of all sizes to reposition themselves in the marketplace, including the rebranding of entire health systems to identify and commit to centers of excellence.These large-scale projects entail reorganizing medical staff and services around specific specialty areas, and equipping facilities with the technologies and environment to support those niches. Factors fueling these changes include the growing emphasis on wellness and preventative care, the increasing needs for acute, geriatric and skilled nursing care, and the facilities’ goals of improving patient outcomes while maximizing performance and operating efficiency.
These centers of excellence should address multiple specialties (joint replacement, Diabetes, Cancer, etc.), as long as they are defined and branded that way to provide various treatment modalities and levels of care for their specific practice areas. This ultimately benefits the larger health community by enhancing the brand and showcasing identifiable areas of expertise. This repositioning also benefits the general population by creating one location with multiple centers of excellence that are recognized for their focus on delivering high-quality, multi-disciplinary medical services. They are a platform for hospitals and health systems to align physicians in quality improvement, reduce costs through greater efficiencies and create market differentiation through clinical excellence and high patient satisfaction.
Design and planning factors
The changes associated with creating medical centers of excellence require architects, planners, developers and interior designers well-versed in the special needs around healthcare delivery. Architects and developers working on center of excellence projects must be able to integrate components of broader health delivery within one building or on one campus. They should also be highly experienced in the complicated master planning and approval processes and zoning regulations associated with medical facilities. Technological advances and IT investments—telemedicine, point-of-care devices, robotics, and larger operating suites—are important factors that must be incorporated into the design, along with practice, diagnostic and procedure facilities. Energy efficiency also plays an important role in any new design or renovation.New institutions or expansion projects are carefully planned with various health delivery systems in mind. Renovations of existing medical facilities combine the latest trends in medical planning with LEAN design principles meant to achieve higher efficiencies while maximizing patient-to-doctor contact, new technologies and a more extensive array of specialty practices to treat patients’ needs. Either way, patients are seen in more humanistic, comforting settings—an important component of this rebranding. As marketplace pressures increase along with the need for more patient-centered care, rebranding a healthcare facility as a center of excellence now signals to patients and providers that a medical center is well-positioned to meet the challenges of healthcare delivery in the near and distant future.
George Kimmerle, AIA, PP, NCARB is president/partner at Kimmerle Group and Paul Newman, AIA is vice president/partner at Kimmerle Newman Architects.