Medical Real Estate

By Thomas Crocker
Monday, January 6, 2020

Consumer Desires for Convenience, Virtual Care Influence Facility Construction

Many hospitals and healthcare systems are basing decisions about facility construction on rising consumer expectations, according to Randy Keiser, Vice President and National Healthcare Director at Turner Construction Company, in an article appearing on

“Today’s hospitals are aiming to provide a more consumer-driven experience. Healthcare systems are investing in facilities that translate to more options and better service,” Keiser tells writer Julia Troy.

In the article, Keiser says patients expect:

  • Convenient care close to home and work, which healthcare systems are increasingly delivering in the form of outpatient facilities with a wide range of services
  • Private hospital rooms with amenities
  • Virtual care

“If a person wakes up with a sore throat, they want the ability to quickly access a doctor with a few keystrokes on personal devices for quick diagnoses. Then, they want that doctor to direct them to a nearby urgent care center for treatment, not a hospital miles and miles away,” according to Keiser.

3 Factors That Could Prompt a Medical Office Revamp

Medical office makeovers are increasingly commonplace, according to writer Jeff Bendix in an article for Medical Economics. He writes that three factors may signal a practice refresh is necessary:

  • A decrease in productivity stemming from lack of space or an inefficient layout
  • Crowding in the waiting room or another area of the office
  • Outdated or unsightly furnishings, or a lack of amenities patients expect, such as Wi-Fi

Healthcare consultant Ken Hertz, FACMPE, is quoted in the article as saying, “Given the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, practices and physicians are coming to see it’s vital that they continually reinvest in the business by updating their space, changing the aesthetics, introducing new technology and so forth.”

For help deciding which areas of a medical office to redo, practice administrators and other leaders can ask clinicians, staff and patients for suggestions, and solicit recommendations from other facilities that have undertaken makeovers, Hertz tells Medical Economics.

Workforce Housing in the Healthcare Industry

Some hospitals struggle to attract or retain qualified healthcare professionals due to a dearth of affordable homes nearby. That was a key topic of discussion for real estate and healthcare industry insiders during a conference.

J. Michael Marsh, President and CEO of Overlake Medical Center & Clinics in Bellevue, Washington, tells the cost of living in the area surrounding his suburban Seattle facility is high, and the metro area’s traffic congestion has a chilling effect on prospective employees who may wish to consider commuting from outside the area. Partnering with the real estate industry to create more affordable homes is a possible solution.

“It is too expensive to live in the metro markets, but it is also too hard for the workforce to commute. Workforce housing would make a big difference in reducing staff shortages,” writes author Shawna De La Rosa.