NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 20

CONSTRUCTING A NEW FUTURE Careful Capital Expenditures Sharpen Competitive Edge In a recent thought piece for Design + Construction magazine, Steve Higgs, senior managing director of CBRE Building, highlighted North Texas as a growing market: “Buoyed by a strong economy, healthcare capital investment still continues. In growing markets—such as Houston, Atlanta and Dallas—major inpatient program and infrastructure investments are ongoing or planned on both a small and large scale. The industry seeks to push convenient care, improving the health of populations and to meet ‘Triple Aim’ goals,” he noted. Construction experts on the ground in the Dallas-Fort Worth area say that could not be more true. A growth in both population and opportunity has put expansion and renovation on the minds of many of their healthcare clients. “The construction cycle in Texas is robust, and we foresee that being the case for the next few years as cities around Texas are growing,” noted Joe Jouvenal, senior vice president of McCarthy Building Companies, a leading healthcare construction company with a major regional presence. “Population increase spurs the need to upgrade dated facilities and build new ones. We are seeing many more opportunities for acute care and outpatient clinics. Currently, there are more than 7,500 acute care beds, and with the projected growth, Tarrant and Denton Counties will need to add 6,500 new acute care beds over the next 20 years,” he said. Steve Whitcraft serves as director of healthcare in Texas and Oklahoma for Turner Construction Company, which, according to Modern Healthcare magazine, is the number-one healthcare builder in the country in terms of 2017 dollar volume, at 6.5 million square feet built for $3,018,500,000. Whitcraft is part of a specialized team of 60 healthcare experts that Turner Construction staffs as part of its focus on healthcare that share best practices to stay on top of trends in markets across the country. In North Texas, Whitcraft points out a defining trend. “For the history of healthcare, you’ve had a hospital and they’ve added on and the patients and their families would go downtown to a large ‘mother ship,’” he said. “But now, that is changing. The patient is becoming more important in terms of where they want to have their service done. And there is a lot of competition.” Up and Out Whitcraft illustrates a bifurcated trend in construction growth in North Texas. A patient-centric goal toward allowing more space in the hospital for a large private room for the patient and his or her family has necessitated more bed towers, with systems taking advantage of the footprint they already control and expanding up into the open Texas sky. “The curtain between patients has disappeared,” Whitcraft said. “That means they need more beds. Also, hospitals get reimbursement by their bed capacity, so increasing overnight capacity is important.” 18 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 The other side of healthcare construction growth in North Texas, according to Whitcraft and several local experts, is the building of smaller healthcare facilities – micro-hospitals, free-standing emergency rooms, specialty care centers and the like – in suburban neighborhoods, closer to homes and farther from the urban core. “The idea of a micro-hospital is essentially the same kind of business model the big hospitals originally had,” Whitcraft explained. “The idea is that you come and have your baby here, and this hospital will serve your needs as your family grows up. The closer you are to their lives, the more you can capture them. These are less heavy-duty buildings – more a single story or even two, and sometimes located in a retail development.” “We are definitely seeing a lot of growth toward the communities,” noted Sean Ashcroft, project executive with DPR Construction, a top national commercial contractor and construction management firm with a number of healthcare construction projects in the DFW area. “By placing their beds and services in the community, hospitals see their re-admit rates go way down, which helps with reimbursements. People are more likely to get their check- up and follow-up because it’s more accessible. By putting that hospital where the people are, it helps them serve the community better.” Hitting Triple Aim Goals The Institute for Healthcare Improvement issued a rallying cry for all healthcare organizations to follow when it unveiled the “Triple Aim,” which is simultaneously improving the health of the population, enhancing the experience and outcomes of the patient, and reducing per capita cost of care for the benefit of communities. The Triple Aim serves as the foundation for organizations to successfully navigate the transition from a focus on healthcare to optimizing health for individuals and populations – and it’s the very thing that helps guide major initiatives that result in construction and renovation projects. COMING SOON TO ARLINGTON “One of the things that I think is a differentiator for us, and it’s big in the industry, is that healthcare started driving ‘Lean’ in their organizations. We’ve been doing ‘Lean’ processes on our jobs for 10-plus years,” noted Jerry Crawford, vice president and general manager of Turner Construction. “We try to think along the lines of efficiency in healthcare organizations. As we’re building, it’s with continuous improvement and respect for people that we build. And that’s something that healthcare organizations care about.” Not just for the patients – but also for physicians, nurses and other clinical staff who work in the facility, experts say. Patient satisfaction coupled with provider satisfaction is a key element, as recruiting the best and brightest talent takes every advantage a system can produce. Texas Live! mixed-use entertainment complex Live! By Loews luxury hotel and convention center General Motors supplier park, Arlington Automotive Logistics Center Texas Rangers new ballpark, Globe Life Field arlingtontx.gov/business | ecodev@arlingtontx.gov | 817.459.6155