The Financial Benefits of Patient-Centered Facility Design
June 12, 2018 | by Brian Shoenfeld
Now is the time to focus on patient-centered facility design.
According to the latest U.S. Health Care Construction Spending Report, spending in the most recent period was $41.55 billion, up 7.5 percent year-over-year. The trend indicates that the market is strong for hospitals looking to build new facilities.
Additionally, hospitals are seeing a positive trend of overall costs saved in the long run, improved patient outcomes, and time saved for nurses if their facility allocates resources to patient-driven concepts during construction.
The Evidence for Long-Term Cost Savings
One of the best industry examples of the cost savings from patient-centered hospital facility is from a 2011 study on whether focusing on patient outcomes in the design and construction phase yields long-term financial results.
In a report published by the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the data indicated that incorporating patient-centered design elements into hypothetical hospital construction added $26.2 million of costs. However, the data also indicated that a hospital could generate a positive ROI in just three years.
How can a hospital achieve that level of cost savings that quickly? According to the data, hospitals realize significant savings from these patient outcomes in patient-centered facilities:
- Reduce falls by 33 percent
- Reduce adverse drug events by 20 percent
- Reduce healthcare-associated infections by 20 percent
- Reduce the length of stay for each patient by 10 percent
Why Is Improving Patient Outcomes Vital for Hospitals?
If you think about the basic concept of a hospital or other acute care facility, the goal is to provide care, treatment, expertise, and a positive result. In the past, many facilities placed this goal in a secondary position in favor of trying to find ways to save money on new facility designs.
If hospitals do not consider the needs of their patients first, they will automatically create greater headaches for themselves now and in the future.
- An example of an immediate headache is opening a new facility without handrails in hospital rooms, extending the length of stay for patients and reducing patient satisfaction.
- An example of a future headache is needing to re-design a facility to meet the changing needs of patients or to incorporate new technology that serves patients better.
By focusing on patient outcomes in the design and construction phase, hospitals reduce the likelihood of incurring additional short-term costs such as installing handrails or incurring long-term expenses such as needing to re-design the facility in 5-10 years.
How Can a Patient-Centered Hospital Facility Support Nurses?
Another key benefit of focusing on patient-centered hospital design is providing more support for the nursing staff.
As the frontline staffers who interact directly with patients, nurses are vital for providing quality care for patients. By focusing on how nurses can best serve patients when designing a facility, nurses will get more time back to operate at the highest level of their licensure to provide the best possible care.
The benefits of giving nurses more time to focus on patient outcomes include:
- More time spent at the bedside caring for patients
- Ensuring the proper medication dispensed to patients
- Ensuring the appropriate use of medical supplies and equipment
- A reduction in incidents, spills, and falls
When nurses can walk into the facility with a clear mind to perform their tasks and provide quality care, patients will be positively impacted and hospitals will be able to achieve cost efficiency.
How Talon Supports Patient-Centered Facility Design
A primary goal for Talon is to support hospitals practicing Lean in their facility. This methodology is built on the idea of putting systems in place that support personnel to achieve more in their role, generate positive outcomes for recipients, and create financial benefits through efficient workflows.
When working with architects, facility designers, and hospital construction managers, we provide assistance to find areas where Lean can be applied to create a better experience for patients and generate cost savings for hospitals.
Based on our experience, we typically highlight areas where our MedCab™ product line can be incorporated into the facility design to function seamlessly in the hospital workflow.
When viewing our available standard and premium medical cabinets, consider how Talon can drive your patient-centered hospital facility design. Contact one of our Client Solutions Representatives today to get started on a free consultation.
About the Author
Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and two sons and cheers on Syracuse.