Up Close: Jennifer Klund

Jennifer Klund, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

08.03.15

What changes are driving the healthcare industry?

The Accountable Care Act is giving more people access to health insurance and healthcare services. Services are shifting toward wellness and preventive care to control cost, promote population health, and reimburse providers based on patient outcome.

What are the biggest challenges your clients face?

Healthcare organizations have to differentiate themselves from the competition with price, quality, location and convenience by bringing services closer to where people live and work. With a growing emphasis on outpatient care, healthcare organizations are adopting different delivery models outside a traditional primary care clinic to lower costs and increase convenience. Micro-clinics within retail outlets, wellness centers focused on nutrition and education, workplace health centers supporting employee wellness, and e-visits enabled by new technology, for instance, all promote convenience to improve population health and complement traditional clinic visits. Nurse navigators and care coordinators are now an integral part of the team. Within the evolving healthcare industry, profitability will drive economy of scale. The on-going consolidation of healthcare organizations and the emergence of Accountable Care Organizations will enable primary and specialty care providers to build partnership to deliver integrated cradle-to-grave services across a continuum of care to increase quality, cost-efficiency, and transparency.

How can you help healthcare organizations address these challenges?

Through these ongoing changes, the brick-and-mortar healthcare facility will still remain the center of healthcare delivery. Whether an outpatient clinic or inpatient hospital, owners are researching ways to optimize their capital investment. Evidence-based design research and Lean planning enable owners to increase operational efficiency, right-size flexible spaces for multiple programming options, increase building utilization, and reduce energy usage. The most successful healthcare organizations are driving change by building partnership with other providers and finding ways to improve the overall patient experience.