Our client, a regional hospital, served a community with relatively small population growth expected and an annual household income below the state’s median. The facility was the sole healthcare provider in the community but saw their chance for growth in expanding to a nearby area that had an expanding population but with greater competition.
In the current facility, the majority of patients were housed in a patient tower that was built in 1936 and needed considerable upgrades. The tower was built to a different standard of care, and rooms were not sized to accommodate modern-day equipment or families. In addition, expensive maintenance and repairs were needed to improve the infrastructure, including plumbing and electrical systems. The top priority was the intensive care unit, which was severely undersized and located within this older patient tower. The unit did not have enough floor space to provide care for patients, creating safety risks for both patient and staff working in the unit.
Wanting to capture growth in the neighboring community and needing to update their facility to current clinical standards, the hospital needed a roadmap to the future that would fit within their constrained budget. They engaged Catalyst to develop a strategic facility master plan that would allow them to be purposeful in how they invested their funds while attracting patients and physicians to their facility.
Catalyst has a long relationship with the hospital’s health system. This relationship gave us the ability to evaluate their goals from both a system and local perspective and develop creative solutions to address their needs. Catalyst presented to system and local leadership with several plans that could be implemented as funding became available. For example, one solution involved building a microhospital that included an emergency department, surgical services, and observation unit in the neighboring community before a competitor could move in. We also explored market dynamics with sister facilities to see how the hospital could leverage additional assets to manage capacity constraints.
Due to financial constraints, leadership chose Catalyst’s “triage” solution that addressed the campus’ most critical issues. The triage solution provided architectural fixes for the ICU, the recently flooded endoscopy suite, and right-sized support services to enhance throughput. This solution was part of a larger master plan that positioned the hospital to capture market while supporting their existing community. The solutions allowed them to address issues in a purposeful way instead of making haphazard changes that could cause problems in the future. Phase 2 of this plan included renovations to several units to right-size patient rooms when funds became available.
Catalyst’s master plan addressed the most urgent needs by creating spaces to improve how patients received care and how staff provided care in the ICU and proposed ways to address inefficiencies by enhancing throughput without requesting a capital investment. The hospital’s leadership valued that Catalyst’s plan offered implementable solutions that worked within their financial realities. Catalyst’s ongoing communication with leadership ensured consensus for the drivers of the master plan.