7 Questions To See If You Should Expand Your Hospital’s Footprint

7 Questions To See If You Should Expand Your Hospital's Footprint

As a health system, it’s essential to grow and maintain your presence in the communities you serve. Patients want easy access to quality care near their homes, workplaces, and recreational areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for healthcare facilities that cater to patients’ evolving needs. To help you make informed decisions about expanding your health system, we’ve compiled a list of key considerations: 

  1. Is there a demand for healthcare services in your area? 

Understanding your community’s healthcare needs is crucial. Factors like population growth and gaps in physician services can indicate the need for additional healthcare facilities. It’s also important to consider competition from other health systems. Working with a development partner who understands your strategic goals can help reduce the risks of expansion and speed up the process. 

  1. What location options are available? 

When expanding, healthcare systems have two primary options: developing a new facility from scratch or leasing an existing space. Choosing the right option will depend on your system’s needs, but developing a new space can offer more customization opportunities. 

  1. How many locations should you consider? 

The number of locations you choose to expand to will depend on several factors, including cost, location, and speed to market. However, it’s crucial to maintain control of your assets, including building branding, competitive uses, and financial upside. Working with a healthcare real estate partner who understands your strategy and is willing to invest alongside you can help maintain control. 

  1. Do you have the necessary staff for expansion? 

Expanding your health system requires additional staff, such as project managers and physicians. It’s essential to partner with a development team with in-house capabilities to recruit and align with physicians. This can help address staffing shortages and ensure your staff is in line with your strategic goals. 

  1. Will your expansion be a revenue generator? 

Your facility’s financial contribution will depend on your strategic decisions. Bringing in a developer to develop on and off-campus, attract third-party physicians, and capture market share can be a robust revenue generation strategy. Alternatively, a facility may serve as a loss-leader to defend against competitors. 

  1. Are you looking to reduce inpatient and expand outpatient services? 

Increasing touchpoints through outpatient facilities can improve accessibility, establish ongoing relationships with patients, and market your presence in the community. Planning and programming outpatient facilities for efficiency and the right size can make them a strong financial investment. 

  1. Are you looking to create a consumer experience? 

Engaging with consumers on multiple levels can include wellness, retail, and other non-traditional healthcare services. Aligning with community partners and using your medical community’s expertise can lead to a strategy that benefits all parties. Investing in healthy living services and development can help you go beyond traditional healthcare delivery. 

By considering these key factors, your health system can make informed decisions about expanding and maintaining your presence in the communities you serve. 

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Chris White

Business Development Manager

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