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Whitepaper Watch: A Look at the Future of Healthcare

This chart represents the issues identified by respondents to the survey as the things that will have the most impact on healthcare over the next five years.

How will healthcare design and construction be different? How will it be delivered? What will the campus of the future look like? These are just some of the questions that 42 healthcare chief executive officers, senior executives, vice presidents, design and construction directors, design professionals, developers, and consultants answered as part of DPR’s Future of Healthcare study. As a builder of healthcare facilities, DPR turned to healthcare owners and design professionals to help gain a better understanding of where the industry is heading and what healthcare will look like in five to 10 years.

There appears to be a consensus that healthcare, as practiced today, is not fiscally sustainable. “Do more with less” is a frequently heard mantra, due to today’s economic issues. In the future, renovation/reuse will be favored in lieu of new construction because of limited capital. Lack of funds will also cause owners to reprioritize projects. If there is a building with the right structure, it will be more economical to renovate than build new. Projects within hospitals will also become more sophisticated and mission critical.

Increased health information technology (HIT) capability is another trend. Now, the backbone of healthcare delivery, HIT allows advances such as telemedicine, home monitoring systems, electronic medical records and data management, which will impact the infrastructure of healthcare facilities. For example, DPR’s Palomar Medical Center—dubbed the “hospital of the future”—contains 57 miles of cable wired throughout the facility to allow for current and future telemedicine systems that will become available.

Smaller, more integrated hospitals are another trend. With integrated care at the forefront, there will be an emphasis on prevention and wellness, less invasive procedures, and more advancement in research, which will ultimately reduce the demand for hospitalizations. Hospitals will be reserved for the highest acuity patients.

The aging population will affect patients as well as medical staff. Hospital systems are not prepared for the colossal numbers of aging patients and their unique needs. A rise in seniors also means that doctors and medical professionals are reaching retirement age, which will create a need to replace staff.

It’s clear: Over the next 10 years, there will be transformative changes in healthcare.

Learn more here about the Future of Healthcare study.