Evolving Rural Care: State-of-the-Art Hospitals in Small Towns

Rural hospitals face many challenges. As we work on projects across Iowa and Nebraska, we partner with these hospitals to work to overcome challenges in the design of their new facility, renovation or addition.

Where rural hospitals were once thought to be a dying breed, updates, renovations and modernization have put them back in the consideration set with newer hospitals in larger markets.

Aging Infrastructure is a Challenge

Many rural hospitals are beginning to show their age—and signs of aging. Often times, this gives the perception that the standard of care isn’t on par with hospitals in larger cities, which isn’t an accurate assumption.

One real concern is the lack of updated technology on the inside, and the lack of space for more advanced treatments that may be available in a larger city.

You know that some of the best care comes from rural hospitals across the Midwest. So how do you fight perception?

Give the Hospital a Facelift

In many cases, an updated façade and entrance to an existing facility presents a “wow” factor that provides the community with an improved perception of the building, and therefore the hospital.

Coupling that with interior renovations really changes how the community sees the facility and sets the right impression from the start.

Redesigned Space Creates Greater Efficiency

Hospitals we worked with note that going through the Lean 3P process helps them maximize space they already have. Often times they discover that Department A has way too much space for the volume of patients it gets, and that Department B is extremely short on space.

Including the right size space for each department—with the ability to adapt to future growth—helps make room for additional services that keep the hospital competitive and provide patients with more options for care.

Not only does renovating the interior space provide better functionality for staff, it also provides the opportunity for technology updates. Often times updating to new technology that is smaller and more efficient frees up space for additional resources as well.

It’s Not All About Cosmetics

Technology. Technology advances require hospitals to make updates to the infrastructure within their walls as well. Updated electrical and high-speed networking provide functional benefits to the doctors and nurses working every day to provide the best care possible. They also provide a cue that the hospital is up-to-date on technology, which is great for patients.

Hiring. Updating the appearance of the hospital can also give a big benefit to recruiting doctors and nurses. Nothing turns off a potential employee more than an aging building. An updated façade and technologically advanced interior can remove “the building” as a potential detractor in the hiring process.

Choice in Care. An updated rural hospital can quickly remove the perception that it’s not as advanced or up-to-date as one in a larger city. This can help keep patients in your community and prevent them from commuting out to a larger city.

It can also help patients in outlying communities consider your facility instead of trekking to a larger market, continuing to grow the patient base for the hospital.

What’s Right for Your Hospital?

Ultimately every hospital is different, and every community has unique needs. When it comes to hospital renovations, or new builds, our process is second to none in helping to understand your needs and create a plan specific for your healthcare facility—and keep you competitive and relevant for years to come.