The healthcare industry has recently seen a shift toward small, ‘retail-based’ care facilities to supplement the work done by larger operations such as hospitals. The shift makes sense, both financially and for patient care and convenience. However, it also comes with challenges, particularly in the realm of energy management.
It’s relatively rare for satellite healthcare facilities to exist in entirely new buildings. Instead, most are located in existing structures that have been purchased, leased, or acquired in provider mergers. They’re often not equipped with a new, energy-efficient infrastructure, and instead, facilities make do with existing systems, which means expensive problems that can compromise patient care.
Inefficiencies in old buildings are, first and foremost, financially costly. These facilities will need to continue to evolve as they adopt the most cutting-edge medical technology and embrace the digital age, and that means more energy consumption.
With prices and usage both on the rise, healthcare providers simply can’t afford to run inefficiently, which poses a problem for clinics that have moved into old, out-of-date facilities. The costs of energy inefficiency in retail healthcare extend beyond the financial. Buildings without intelligent controls also have an impact on patient care and patient satisfaction.
Without the kind of infrastructure that ensures energy efficiency, healthcare providers also have no way to ensure that patients and staff have comfortable, productive environments. Of course, the impact on patient care is something very crucial; all efforts should be made to ensure that patients are as comfortable in their environments as possible to facilitate health and healing.
Environmental factors also impact staff productivity. Increasing employee productivity can both reduce overall costs for healthcare providers, who get more bang for their buck from their workers, and improve patient care, ensuring that patients get the help they need from facility staff as fast as possible.
It seems clear that there are a number of energy-related problems for small healthcare clinics, but they’re far from insurmountable. A number of strategies exist to improve energy efficiency, decrease costs, and improve patient care and satisfaction.