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Understanding Where to Invest in a Growing Market
Catalyst completed a strategic facility master plan for a children’s hospital in 2016. After successfully implementing recruitment strategies and with population growth exceeding expectations, the hospital experienced notable volume growth in acute care and surgery, and the infectious disease inpatient service line — which accounts for nearly 20% of discharges — saw 16% annual growth over a five-year period.
Once the only children’s hospital in the region, our client saw signs of a competitor moving in and engaged Catalyst to revisit their strategic facility master plan to address growing need in the area and position itself against the competition.
With growth project in almost every service line and continued efforts to capture the tertiary/quaternary pediatric population, the hospital faced significant inpatient bed capacity constraints in the five-year horizon. Given current capacity limitations, shrinking market share associated with a competitor hospital, and the threat of new market entrant, Catalyst evaluated three scenarios:
- Building additional capacity on campus
- Building a new community-based pediatric hospital
- Adding a pediatrics program to an existing system hospital
While doable, adding capacity to the existing campus posed some significant challenges. This solution exacerbated congestion and wayfinding challenges. It also required an expensive parking deck solution that allocated capital to non-patient-treatment functions. Finally, this option did not achieve the leadership team’s goals to bring care closer to patients. The alternative two options provided care outside of the urban core, allowed low-acuity patients to be treated closer to home, and shifted low-acuity volume out of the hospital to make space for the influx of tertiary, maternal fetal medicine, and behavioral health volume associated with strategic initiatives.
To evaluate the other two options, Catalyst analyzed various demographic variables, residential and commercial development, traffic patterns, and existing pediatric provider locations. Overlaying these variables allowed our team to identify an ideal location from a patient need, facility access, and strategic growth perspective. Our team quantified the program needs for each option and developed high-level costs to understand the impact of all the options on the table. Catalyst’s analysis and findings helped the health system better understand where to best invest in this growing market.
Strategic Facility Master Plan