Healthcare costs have been steadily on the rise for more than a decade. According to the RAND Corporation, the cost of healthcare in the United States doubled from 1999 to 2009 and prices are still rising. This has had a major impact on patients and on facilities – Becker's Hospital Review reported that nine U.S. hospitals have closed so far in 2015.
Looking ahead to 2016, there are a few healthcare trends that experts predict hospitals will follow to help minimize these costs for consumers and providers alike. Modernizing outdated systems and investing in state-of-the-art technology will be essential for hospitals to combat the rising costs of healthcare and help prevent their own bankruptcies.
Updating hospital facilities
According to Forbes, hospitals overhauling their current systems is one of the top 10 trends to expect for healthcare in 2016. The source cited a $1.3 billion renovation plan at Dallas's Parkland Hospital in an effort to prevent a closure as one example.
It's not just Dallas, either. All across the country, hospitals are working to modernize their buildings and equipment in order to better serve patients and keep costs down. The Spring Grove Hospital in Catonsville, Maryland, underwent an efficiency overhaul in 2008 to reduce its natural gas use by 80 percent. A task force is investigating a possible major renovation to outdated facilities at the State Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming.
Opportunities to grow
Hospital boards and administrators should look at facility overhauls favorably – updating current systems makes way for new technology and a better environment for patients and staff alike. It doesn't need to be an all-at-once, top-to-bottom renovation, either. Facilities can find their areas of biggest need and begin there.
Updates can range from structural improvements to old buildings, to purchasing new, state-of-the-art healthcare equipment, to modernizing patient records and filing systems with electronic health records and other software programs. All of these improvements are essential for keeping hospitals up and running to the best of their abilities, and for providing the best possible care to their patients.
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