by Sean Lamontagne
Moving into 2014, Nadeau’s MedBuild Unit is optimistic about healthcare projects getting off the launching pad. The pace of this sector’s construction starts is on the rise and with hospitals, clinics, and other medical networks expanding to meet the growing needs of the public, Nadeau expects no lag in demand for its MedBuild construction services.
With the new found clarity for direction that our administration has finally provided, it makes Nadeau trust that its healthcare clients are going to be getting back into expansion mode. “With this comes a new focus though,” explained Nadeau’s MedBuild team leader Mark Menard. “Value engineering methods have never been in higher demand, the focus has shifted to efficiency and containing costs,” he added.
It’s an interesting situation for healthcare institutions. With the new system now being implemented, 30 million additional Americans will have insurance to pay for check-ups and precautionary care. This huge expansion of the customer base is going to call for expanded infrastructure to support this demand. Organizations will need more outpatient facilities, more beds, more operating rooms, greater accessibility for ambulances and on top of all that, they will require more medical office space to support the added administrative staff.
These changing facilities will need insight to increase efficiency and minimize costs, but the tricky part is retaining that high level of quality needed to attract those top rated physicians and in turn, charge those premium rates that result in larger profit margins “We expect to see many existing facilities being renovated whenever possible,” says Menard. “If they’re going to need an expansion, our team is going to sit down with the powers that be, and figure out a way to maximize the efficiency of the facility while still minimizing expenses. This by no means indicates that the days of luxury healthcare facilities are over. “This is nothing new for us, we’ve been upgrading old buildings into state-of-the-art medical facilities for 30 years. It’s a matter of knowing what the needs and wants are, and then implementing a strategy that allows it to stay within budget and adhere to a strict schedule.”
When new construction is needed, Nadeau suggests a design/build approach. With integrated project delivery and overlap, the owner generally see’s savings related to efficiency, fewer obstacles, and faster completion. By including contractors like Nadeau in the design stages on the front end, healthcare organizations allow for identification of less expensive materials and methodologies. Healthcare systems that need some sort of facility alteration moving into 2014 can also take advantage of this opportunity to become more efficient as a working health center.
“When we go in for our needs assessment meeting, we talk with doctors, nurses, and the admin staff to find out what the day to day operations are in their current building,” Menard continues. “A lot of times there are opportunities for owners to save money simply by creating a facility that allows for the staff to perform better. Something as simple as a doctor having to walk a shorter distance to fill out his charts, translate to more time serving patients.”
Another healthcare trend that Nadeau expects to see is an increase in is its solar division. The opportunity to improve energy efficiency can prove to net these facilities large-scale savings over time. Not to mention create great public relations and generate a way to showcase their efforts towards sustainability in the community.
This 2014 forecast boils down the age old supply and demand reasoning. 30 million new customers for any industry probably means a greater need for construction in that sector. Nadeau ‘s MedBuild Team is looking forward to helping the New England healthcare community through this process into 2014 and beyond.
Sean Lamontagne is director of business development for Nadeau Corporation