Posted on 09/25/2015

By Lora Mays, Product Marketing Manager

In the past decade, the healthcare industry in the U.S. has been under a great deal of change. From dealing with the economic crisis in the late 2000s to implementing a number of changes due to the Affordable Care Act, the face of healthcare has and will continue to evolve.

As a result of this change, there has been a shift in resources for many hospitals. In a survey by the American Hospital Association (AHA), hospital leadership reported reduced operating margins and reduced access to capital.

At the same time, a hospital’s facilities continue to be just as important – if not more than ever – for offering patient care and meeting the health needs of its community. For healthcare organizations, investing in capital improvements serves as a necessity to ensure quality care today and in the future.

Healthcare facility capital planning has layers of complexity, especially when compared with other industries. Some key issues that must be addressed through the capital planning process include:

Ensuring compliance with stringent building requirements

Standard building safety codes apply to hospitals, as well as others defined by organizations like the Joint Commission and the National Fire Protection Association. Integrating these specific requirements into your facility capital planning can ensure that any investments you make to your facility portfolio adhere to these parameters.

Changing healthcare delivery needs

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Americans are relying on hospitals for preventive health visits. In addition, the booming urgent care industry has transformed the face of emergency departments. Healthcare will continue to evolve, mostly driven by an aging population and the continued focus on regulation within the industry.

Because of this, your capital planning requirements will also shift. Having flexibility in your capital planning requirements will help you meet the changing needs and ensure that you are able to meet the demand for quality healthcare.

Aging buildings and systems

Like public sector and higher education, the healthcare industry also faces an aging infrastructure. Many of the buildings, which were built decades ago, are now in need of major renovations in order to ensure optimal operation of key functions, like medical gas. With the decreased availability of capital for hospitals across the U.S., it has created a large maintenance backlog – increasing risk and creating challenges when it comes to prioritizing departmental needs.

To meet the challenging landscape of facility capital planning in healthcare, organizations need a partner to help them garner the information that they need to develop a capital plan and prioritize their investments based on need. With VFA.facility, the industry-leading capital planning solution, healthcare organizations can count on optimally managing their capital budgets and ensuring their buildings meet standards to provide the best care for patients now and in the future.

Learn more about how VFA.facility supports needs for Accruent’s healthcare customers. 

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