The future of health and healthcare delivery is happening at lightning pace. Just more than a month into the New Year, there are numerous new efforts and developments spanning cancer care, medical research, health education that are both inspiring and exciting. Given our firm’s diversity, almost all of these efforts impact what we focus on with our clients, partners and internal teams.

Here is a look at three key trends defining the early weeks of healthcare in 2016:

Renewed fight against cancer

The Renewed Fight on Cancer

President Obama’s announcement of the country’s renewed focus on fighting and defeating cancer during his State of the Union address earlier this year is good news for so many of the mission-driven organizations we work with that are focused on the disease. The new focus will bring enhanced resources to those organizations at the cutting edge of the fight, helping them advance their most successful treatment and research efforts. To begin the launch of this new effort to defeat cancer, Vice President Joe Biden toured the Penn Medicine Center for Advanced Celllular Therapies I wrote about last month. He and other leaders see Penn Medicine’s work on personalized medicine as critical to the success of their effort.

Cancer CenterBeyond that, other organizations like ProHealth Care are focused on elevating patient engagement strategies to enhance care for cancer patients. The organization’s new freestanding ambulatory cancer center is focused on educating patients about how to avoid ED visits, inpatient stays and missed clinic appointments while also helping them develop strong support groups and increase their strength during chemo treatment. At Kaiser Permanente, the organization has developed its Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center with above ground radiation treatment centers that allow for patients to access natural light, views to nature and soothing interior colors during their difficult treatment sessions. This is a departure from traditional design that always placed these centers below ground to accommodate heavy equipment and to shield radiation. Kaiser is leading the way on tackling these challenges and enhance care for its patients.

All of these efforts – from the President’s declaration to the tireless efforts of health providers around the world to advance research, care and treatment options inspire me as we head further into 2016.

New Delivery Solutions for Health Providers

Health providers face increased pressure to design and construct facilities that are high-quality, high-performance and cost-efficient all wrapped in one. Thankfully, the industry is beginning to advance key single-source delivery options like Design-Led Construction (DLC) that make this possible. In a new piece from Building Design + Construction, my colleague shares reasons the C-Suite should care about DLC relative to its ability to accelerate speed-to-market, achieve guaranteed price, reduce inefficiencies and allow organizations to greatly reduce the risk associated with these projects.

Cancer CenterAllegheny Health Network recently leveraged DLC to create its Wexford Health & Wellness Pavilion in western Pennsylvania. DLC helped them achieve a 22-month design and construction schedule (construction completed on time in 18 months) while also adhering to an early established $57.4 million guaranteed maximum price and incurring $0 in error and omission change orders. This kind of streamlined delivery not only makes life easier for health providers, it helps them delivery high-quality care to their communities sooner and at a cost that doesn’t detract from other organizational goals.

Stronger Focus on Health Sciences Education3

With the rapid evolution of healthcare comes the need to adapt how we educate students to help them fill the medical jobs of the future. Malcolm X College in Chicago is responding to this need with its new School of Health Sciences. The 1-million sf facility can accommodate up to 20,000 students and houses state-of-the-art technologies and services including:

  • A virtual hospital complete with operating and emergency rooms
  • Nursing, radiography, respiratory care and science labs
  • An ambulance for EMT simulations
  • A free dental hygiene clinic to open in 2016
  • An exercise and sports sciences area that features a 900-seat gymnasium, two therapy pools and one lap pool

The new School of Health Sciences will help close the gap between the current market of qualified healthcare professionals and the projected 84,000 healthcare jobs in the region over the next decade. The facility is informed by experts spanning education, healthcare, science, urban planning, architecture and engineering– and also required strong collaboration with key partners including AOR Moody Nolan and CM Jacobs Management Co.

These are just a few of the exciting developments already making 2016 a strong year for the advancement of healthcare.

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