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Four Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2019

With the healthcare industry in a state of flux, JLL has identified four trends that will help healthcare companies get ahead of the changes by enhancing patient experience, improving financial performance, and unlocking game-changing efficiencies.

1. Non-traditional providers will enter the market

JLL says the transition to value-based care is encouraging new, nontraditional “providers” to enter the market and created an unprecedented volume of mergers and acquisitions. As systems grow larger, they face more complicated real estate needs, the firm contends. Unfortunately, there’s no blueprint for the best way to approach their unique real estate needs.

“Managing diverse, dispersed portfolios brings new challenges and increased pressure to develop more sophisticated and efficient approaches for real estate services through outsourcing, location selection, ongoing management and more,” says Richard Taylor, executive managing director and leader of JLL’s Healthcare group. “As a result, we expect more healthcare organizations to tap experienced corporate real estate facilities and consultancy partners to fill strategic gaps.”

2. Health systems will transition from “sick care” to “well care”

JLL expects health systems will continue to acquire or develop more ambulatory surgery buildings, emergency clinics, and micro-hospitals to more efficiently serve local communities. These community-based, lower-cost facilities will allow patients to see providers before they develop acute illnesses that require expensive treatment—thereby transitioning patients from “sick care” to “well care”.

3. A war for talent exacerbated by an impending provider shortage

The research is clear—there won’t be enough physicians and other health providers to satisfy future demand. In fact, the U.S. could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Likewise, the nation will experience a shortage of nurses, too—a situation that will intensify as Baby Boomers age and their need for healthcare increases.

JLL expects forward-thinking health systems to emulate tech companies and innovative companies in other industries to explore new workplace concepts that improve employee well-being, productivity, engagement, and happiness, which will in turn attract and retain top talent in a tight labor market.

“Industry-leading healthcare organizations are beginning to explore how a fresh, data-driven approach to managing their facilities will support their broader business strategies, including talent recruitment and retention,” Taylor said.

4. Hospital-acquired infections remain a threat to both patients and the bottom line.

While progress is being made to prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), the CDC estimates one in 25 hospital patients acquires at least one HAI. Additionally, a set of 14 hospital-acquired conditions that the CMS considers avoidable accounted for 48,771 adverse patient outcomes, 3,219 deaths, and more than $2 billion in excess hospital costs in 2016, according to a new research brief.

The physical environment is fourth on the list of HAI causes, according to the CDC, and HAIs resulting from the environment of care may not be decreasing. Hospitals must consider how they can improve the design, maintenance and management of facilities—from ventilation systems to room décor—to reduce infection risks.

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For questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jennifer Duell Popovec

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