By Tala Matchett, Director Business Development
We understand that in healthcare construction, we must keep our eye on the bottom line while also maintaining a clean, safe, and organized environment throughout every stage of construction. And, we must continually find ways to provide value to our clients. We engage early in the design process, in what we call moving left, to enhance communication, reduce redesign, improve the overall outcome, and maximize speed to market. This concept has historically been used in the retail and commercial sectors but is now making its way into healthcare.
On healthcare projects, once a hospital has completed strategic planning, determined a path to integrate physicians, and identified an appropriate location, delivering a safe, high-quality facility becomes the next priority.
Bringing us in early creates a level of collaboration among the project team members that rarely existed in the past. Co-locating the project team, either physically or virtually, allows us to use new technologies such as BIM and pull planning to provide immediate feedback on design decisions and how they affect cost, schedule, or quality. The result is cost certainty and schedule confidence our owners can rely on before the project ever begins.
We are increasing our use of prefabrication as another way to create value for clients. On a recent healthcare project our team collaborated with trade partners to design a rack system that allows the construction of sections of mechanical and plumbing pipe to be installed, tested, and insulated in a factor-controlled environment.
No matter where we are or what we are working on, finding ways to create value is always a topic of conversation. One of our senior superintendents, Glenn Wineinger, attended ASHE PDC, a conference that specifically focuses on finding ways to create value for healthcare-specific projects. During a break-out session, Glenn was a part of a conversation regarding JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) inspections and closeout documents. A few weeks later he was able to take the information discussed in the break-out session to an owner, impressing them with our constant pursuit of ways to add value.
Healthcare construction requires the highest level of organization and attention to detail. We can better manage even the smallest details by identifying the ultimate goals first, and then planning to ensure we achieve them. When we start early and understand the goals, we can positively impact the process and provide our clients with solutions that help them create better outcomes for their hospitals and patients.