The American healthcare industry is one of the greatest beneficiaries of “speed-to-market” construction due to society’s absolute need for affordable and quality healthcare. The infrastructure for the healthcare industry must keep pace with increasingly growing urban centers, advancing technologies, and the offering of a more diverse array of healthcare services. Upgraded construction efficiency helps quickly provide needed services and bring a facility to market much sooner.
As noted by the National Institute of Building Sciences, the primary question of contemporary healthcare project management has moved from, “How quickly can a project be designed and constructed” to “How quickly can healthcare and services be provided?” This subtle difference in approach is of strategic importance when considering healthcare project design and implementation. The facility in itself, after all, isn’t the only factor in attracting patients. Accelerating core functions within the facility are not immediately considered with a “how quickly can we design/construct” mindset.
Who Makes the “Speed-to-Market” Decisions?
The owners (developers) of a project have the most say with regards to “Speed-to-Market” which includes, but is not limited to, the speed of construction demands of the project manager. The owner must negotiate financials and potentially seek capital funding in addition to providing final input on design and project strategy.
The volatile nature of healthcare demand means project strategies must be flexible. It’s up to the owner to ensure that contingency solutions are in place in case, for instance, anticipated levels of funding aren’t reached. The owner must also stay in close communication with the project manager(s) and designer throughout the lifespan of the project in order to make certain that previously set goals are being achieved. There should be enough funding readily available in case abrupt changes of plans are required.
Based on the size and the market position of a healthcare provider, your ability to implement “speed-to-market” construction might be more or less limited.
What is Needed for Successful Fast-Track Construction
All parties, from healthcare experts and investors to project managers and designers, must be involved in the early strategic planning. Designers, of course, must understand the functionalities of the facility in addition to what a potential budget would realistically look like. If the chain of command is not inclusive, there will be no shot at developing an effective speed-to-market plan. Once construction starts, the potential risks and costs of a fractured strategy phase could be substantial.
Non-negotiable standards of construction or operation as determined by healthcare construction experts must also be properly communicated before and even after final design. Though there will be room for innovation and flexibility (say, if there are intermittent advancements in technology), static standards should be well known by everyone involved in the project.
Speed-to-market requires a consolidation of communications. Preferably, the designer and construction management will use the same point of contact. This allows a project to begin (in some circumstances) as final consideration for designs are being made. In this way, the project possesses additional flexibility as design concepts can be instantly relayed to the project manager.
Considering Building Materials
Designers will, generally speaking, be the designated person to suggest building materials for a project. Owners and project managers will have the final say on those materials based upon goals and available budget. From steel to concrete, there are materials that will expedite the construction process. The process of finalizing building materials should ideally not be taken as a cost analysis at face value. Instead, consider running the cost of the materials against how they facilitate speed to market. Would the potential return be worth it? The decision will depend upon the scope of your business goals and estimated prospects, positive or negative, for future revenue.