Healthcare Construction Trends: Expansion & Specialization

Aug 14, 2015

Healthcare expansion is not new to the valley. Not in the slightest. During 2014, more than 9,000 healthcare positions were added in the Phoenix metro area. According to the US Census, 2014 was the strongest year of growth in the healthcare sector since 2007. Shockingly, these are only Arizona statistics. Healthcare brands like Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Cigna, Dignity, and Banner Healthcare are all too familiar as the expansion movement across the valley continues. The trend seems to illustrate synchronized and coordinated groups of healthcare buildings sprouting up alongside each other in order to bring patient care right to your doorstep. But, did the companies spearhead the movement? Or is it a product of unmatched patient demand paired with sprawling expansion that is looking more like the healthcare Oregon Trail than a broadening metropolis?

How about an unexpected mix of both? Two examples of this mix are United Health Services, a national healthcare company, and CVS MinuteClinic, CVS’ cost-effective alternative to urgent care clinics. United Health Services recently opened their first two locations in Arizona while CVS’ MinuteClinic just opened their 900th national location. Projective goals for CVS reveal plans to reach 1,500 national locations by 2017. In order keep up with the varied demands of a growing population, Healthcare is rivaling the Manufacturing industry’s expansion. 

An interesting part of this mix is the rise of the specialized clinics serving patients closer to home than ever before. One prime example, North Valley Surgery Center, opened its doors in the valley during September, 2014. The facility features 33,790 square feet and twenty-eight patient recovery spaces, all of which are capable of being split into smaller rooms with temporary dividers. Additional to potentially fifty available recovery spaces, the facility houses seven fully-equipped operating rooms, four endoscopy rooms, two pediatric rooms, and six fully-enclosed recovery spaces. The ability to utilize a smaller space to its full potential is a key component to healthcare expansion, and North Valley Surgery Center is the perfect mix of small confines with a big punch. Did we mention it’s not a hospital? Although, one could classify this clinic’s capabilities as, say… mini hospital?

With national industry trends shifting towards a decrease in size and increase in locations, healthcare companies are looking to advance patients’ experiences through efficiency and technology, as seen with North Valley Surgery Center. Whether it’s self-serving kiosks or morphing pharmacies into walk-in clinics, healthcare architects and developers aren’t leaving out any options. Imagine prescription dispensing kiosks and affordable walk-in clinics at almost every pharmacy location. Now that’s efficient!