Starting A Healthcare Construction Project? The 11 Challenges And Their Solutions To Consider

Updated on April 14, 2023
Front entrance to a hospital with palm tree landscaping and blue sky

The healthcare industry has become even more competitive over the last few years, which means that it’s become crucial to ensure patient satisfaction and continuous improvement in facility management. However, starting a healthcare construction project can be overwhelming, as there are different factors involved, that you will need to think about. Therefore, it’s inevitable that you might encounter certain challenges along the way, so you should consider what solutions will be most effective in each case. You should familiarize yourself with different strategies that you can use in healthcare construction and learn how to address risks. Below you will find a few examples of issues in healthcare construction, along with their solutions.

Establishing Limits

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that healthcare construction projects differ from other projects, where scaffolding or plastic sheeting may be enough. This means that you will need to establish the limits of your project and identify suitable barriers and temporary partitions that will help prevent dust, debris, and contamination. You may also require sound barriers, such as extra insulation or padding. Therefore, it can be beneficial to do a bit of planning to figure out how you can maintain a clean and safe work site, which won’t compromise the wellbeing of patients.

Controlling Costs

Hidden costs can be difficult to deal with, as they can throw your project off balance, if you are not prepared. Consequently, it’s advisable to find a reliable solution, that will allow you to improve the coordination of construction teams and minimize change orders, such as healthcare construction management software. Kahua provides a solution tailored specifically for healthcare construction projects. It can be helpful in a variety of ways, including maintaining regulatory compliance, managing costs, and increasing efficiency. Moreover, Kahua ensures that you will have the tools to adapt to change quickly and respond to the impact of advancements in healthcare. This healthcare project management software can ultimately lead to better results and happier patients.

Increasing Operational Efficiency

A number of factors can have a direct effect on the operational efficiency of your project, such as the condition of building components, the quality of your systems, and design. Remember that the aim is to foster an environment where healthcare providers can deliver the best possible care and service to patients. Therefore, you should consider how you can enhance operations and ensure that healthcare buildings are designed with people in mind. If you notice that changes or upgrades are required, take some time to choose the most suitable solutions.

Predicting The Correct Capacity For Patients

Due to growth and changes in population, it can be difficult to determine the correct capacity for the growing number of patients, who may need continuous care. It’s important to ensure that a healthcare facility can accommodate increasing demands for care, as it’s unlikely that there will be a decrease in the need for medical services and care. Additionally, this means that you might need to embrace new technology, since medical equipment is constantly changing. The best way to do this is to carry out renovations and add new pieces of equipment to meet the need for more healthcare facilities.

Ensuring Continuous Improvement

Sometimes it can be tempting to remain stagnant, but this won’t be helpful in the long term, so it’s crucial to ensure continuous improvement. There are various creative changes that you can introduce during a healthcare construction project, such as new tools, practices, or strategies, that will change the way designers and builders work. This in turn will lead to better outcomes and more value out of your investments. Make sure you spend some time researching the latest trends in healthcare construction so that you can stay on top of the most innovative programs and approaches.

Improving Safety

Safety is another crucial factor, that healthcare construction workers must think about when starting a new project. To improve safety, you must ensure that the construction site is organized at all times. Also, you should maintain high standards of cleanliness and proper hygiene, which would be expected in a medical context. For example, you might need to consider ways of separating patients and caregivers from construction work. There are some effective strategies that you can implement, such as cleaning up regularly instead of at the end of the day, positioning materials on carts and racks, as well as ensuring workers are wearing safety gloves.

Planning A Construction Project

Planning a construction project from scratch can present you with a variety of challenges in itself. Be sure to consider each step carefully and ensure you have got the right team in place. Keep communication consistent at all times and make sure you are available to resolve any queries or problems, that might occur. Be prepared that you might need to make adjustments at some point, as you may need to deal with unexpected issues. Most hospital renovations are phased, so step-based planning will be necessary to ensure things go smoothly.

Keeping Hospital Equipment Safe

Medical facilities are different to other buildings, as there will likely be high-quality equipment which has already been installed there. As a consequence, it’s vital to ensure the safety of any pieces of equipment that might be around. You will need to find a way to keep them protected from damage, as otherwise you might need to pay for repairs or replacements, resulting in higher costs than expected. This can also affect the health and wellbeing of patients, who might be in need of certain pieces of hospital equipment. Throughout the project, make sure you clear the area around important medical equipment and instruct everyone to be cautious.

Prioritizing Compliance

If you want to execute a project successfully, you will need to prioritize compliance and regulatory awareness. You might need to arrange for third-party inspectors to come in and check that you have complied with all of the relevant health and safety guidelines. This is an unavoidable part of any healthcare construction project, that you shouldn’t overlook. It’s also essential to conduct regular risk assessments and implement procedures, which will support you and your team in maintaining consistency. Before you begin any work, you may want to carry out a pre-construction review of the infection control measures you want to implement with healthcare professionals.

Ensuring Patients’ Comfort

Conducting construction work, especially for a long time, might interfere with how patients feel throughout the duration of your project. They might not feel completely comfortable or relaxed at this time, which can affect their wellbeing and patient experience. Therefore, you may want to look into how you can take their comfort into consideration, such as avoiding noisy work, which can be disturbing for many patients while trying to rest and recover. Liaise with healthcare staff to find out what can be changed to make patients feel better and happier with the work going on.

Providing Access To Key Areas

Finally, another key thing that you will need to consider is the level of access that healthcare staff will have throughout the construction project. Remember that emergency situations can happen at any point, so it’s essential for them to be able to access key areas, should they need to. This means that construction work should be separate from the day-to-day operations, that take place in a hospital. For example, you may want to discuss these issues with healthcare professionals and come up with solutions together.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.