- Ohio State University (OSU) is soliciting design requests for a hospital tower addition with 840 private-room beds to its Wexner Medical Center.
- If it goes forward, the addition would be the largest single facility project in OSU's history, reported The Lantern. The timeline is hazy, but the university hopes to have it open by 2025.
- OSU also is accepting design proposals for an outpatient ambulatory center, which could open in about three years. The university is already attempting to secure proposals for three other health science-related projects, with the five total projects aiming to make OSU a top-20 academic medical center.
OSU's plans to expand its medical center is one of a recent string of new and updated medical facilities across the country. Outpatient facilities, in particular, are taking off.
A 2016 survey by Health Facilities Management indicated 35% of respondents had a medical office underway while 21% had an ambulatory care facility on the docket within the next three years. These smaller, more accessible facilities appeal to millennials who seek convenience while also being less expensive for patients than are hospitals.
Medical giant Highmark Health announced in October its intent to build a 160-bed health care facility, as well as four smaller neighborhood hospitals in the Pittsburgh area. Totaling $700 million, Highmark said the small facilities will be able to treat more community members, freeing up space in larger hospitals for those needing critical care. Each will be between 15,000 to 60,000 square feet with 10 to 12 patient beds.
In California, Scripps Health is embarking on a $2.6 billion building initiative encompassing all five of its San Diego-area healthcare campuses. Part of that plan involves handling more services on an outpatient basis, in addition to seismic upgrades to comply with the state's new earthquake standard for hospitals.
As more of these smaller facilities are in demand, construction firms also must find ways to deliver quality facilities on tight budgets and timeframes. Construction funding dipped slightly compared to last year, according to the most recent Health Facilities Management survey. Rather than focus on new facilities, 77% are planning to expand or renovate instead.
Modular construction is becoming a stronger player in health facility construction. The delivery method, well suited to health facilities due to their repetitive design, can help speed up construction at a lower cost than traditionally built structures. Modular-built rooms and components can also can be more easily adapted to accommodate rapidly evolving medical industry demands.