As I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog (read it here), the healthcare planning and design industry is very optimistic about the challenges we face in our industry. 

To really grasp the potential available for healthcare planning and design, one only needs to see the opportunities available for development. Included below is the second part of my list that illustrates and exposes those factors. 

Healthcare organizations now realize how important a functional and comfortable facility is to providing a positive patient experience. In addition, there are many opportunities for mechanical system efficiency to create operational savings. 

The alignment of owner understanding combined with new and innovative systems will result in significant operational savings. 

This is very important as utility costs continue to increase and healthcare organizations are searching for cost savings wherever possible. More sophisticated life cycle cost analysis techniques, such as total cost modeling, greatly contribute to long-term cost saving opportunities.


The evolution of medical equipment and information technology in recent years has been rapid and significant. Medical equipment has become more effective, smaller, quieter, better designed, and much more patient friendly.

In addition, medical equipment that's located in patient care areas has become less obtrusive visually and is designed to be more patient-friendly. 

With an increase in wireless connectivity and specialized professionals who understand facility impact, information technology is becoming more integrated with facility planning and design.


With the evolution and development of green design concepts, the opportunities to implement sustainable strategies for owners are viable and meaningful. The vast majority of owners have adopted and embraced sustainable design principles, even if they don't pursue LEED certification

Healthcare facilities have become knowledgeable supporters of sustainable principles and understand the benefits of sustainability. In addition, their patients and communities expect this commitment based on healthcare organizations' leadership roles in their cities, counties, and states.


With the industry’s increase in experience and knowledge of evidence-based design, products have evolved to become more responsive to functional and aesthetic needs. Those companies who design, develop and provide medical products for the industry know their products must respond to the changing needs of patients and physicians. 

In a similar manner, building and construction products have evolved to be more responsive to functional and aesthetic needs. In addition, these products have evolved to respond to LEED facility design principles. 

I will continue this discussion in future blogs to share the good news for design firms who specialize in healthcare planning and design. The future is exciting for 2013 and beyond.

Gary Vance is the Director of National Healthcare for BSA LifeStructures. He is a recognized thought leader in healthcare planning and design, providing hospitals with creative solutions to their facility problems. He also collaborates with various healthcare constituent groups to develop innovative solutions to operational, facility and organizational problems. He can be reached at For more information, please visit