Historically, development as a service has covered a wide range of market segments. Everything from education, federal/military, commercial, office, industrial, mixed use, and retail, all fall in the wheelhouse of a development team.
Specifically, over the past couple of years at BHC RHODES we have taken note of increasing demand in healthcare development opportunities. Two main trends that seem to be taking hold of the healthcare industry at the moment include the addition of small hospitals in urban locations and new construction in rural areas.
Small hospitals are meant to serve as a unique healthcare alternative to the emergency room, and to provide emergency services and urgent care, imaging services, and low acuity inpatient operations in a more convenient and smaller setting than a traditional hospital. As Rick Embers, Principal with Pulse Design Group points out, “Convenience is key. Small/ ‘micro’ hospitals are a fairly new concept in healthcare that aims to provide convenient, quick access to medical services. Trends show that these micro hospitals are centrally located, making a visit to receive medical treatment as convenient as a routine stop for a cup of coffee. This concept is still in its’ infancy and it will be interesting to see if it becomes the ‘new norm’ for healthcare delivery.” In the Kansas City metro these small hospitals are appearing in more traditional retail pad sites, usually located in close proximity to residential areas that otherwise may not have easy access to healthcare or a large hospital.
The other prevalent trend in healthcare right now revolves around rural areas and their desire to revamp outdated healthcare facilities. In past years we have seen rural hospitals making patchwork improvements and repairs to their existing facilities. However “Currently, we are seeing a rise in the magnitude of rural hospital construction, which is driven by market demand,” Embers notes, “rural hospital infrastructures are typically dated due to lack of funding and rural hospitals understand the importance of providing adequate healthcare to their communities and they do not want to lose patients to ‘big city’ treatment options.” Particularly of interest, is that most of these ventures are being both publicly and privately funded which clearly shows the demand and desire for such buildings within small communities.
We have no doubt that the ever-evolving healthcare industry will continue to surprise us with new trends in the months and years ahead. Ultimately, we would love the opportunity to improve the communities we serve by providing our engineering services to industries in the development and healthcare sector.