CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITAL

Summary

The Board of this Critical Access Hospital turned to th+a to complete a facility assessment and master plan to bring their campus facilities up to market standards.

In 2012, the Hospital District Board wrestled with the ongoing challenge of staying competitive in their market area by providing quality health care for their city and the surrounding communities. Meanwhile, payments, reimbursements and resulting revenues were being squeezed by CMS and private insurance companies and costs continued to rise. While looking for the best way to continue to appeal to patients, retain quality staff and attract the best providers, the Board's attention turned to the aging 1965-vintage facility.

In order to fully understand the challenge, the Board asked th+a to conduct an analysis of the existing facility to determine its actual condition and to help the Board understand any steps necessary to bring the existing facility up to current regulatory and market expectations. The assignment was to then create a road map in the form of an overall Campus Master Plan with a series of choices that would provide the community hospital with a direction to first regain its market share in this corner of the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast and second, to explore any opportunities for future growth on the existing campus.

Early Discoveries

Working with the Hospital Administration and Facilities staff, the th+a team was able to identify several areas in tremendous need of attention. Many building systems needed updating to meet the evolving codes, but one of the most obvious needs was in Patient Care areas such as the Patient Bedrooms. The existing rooms had not been updated since the original construction and did not meet current minimum standards, much less market expectations, in today’s competitive healthcare environment.

The Road Map

Given the limited capital of the small rural hospital, the most efficient and cost-effective option was to replace the existing patient bed wing and upgrade/replace many of the building systems. The th+a team began to develop a phased master plan to reach that goal. During the final presentation of that option, the Board inquired about the possibility of simply replacing the entire hospital. As the conversation progressed, the Board became more convinced that the option should be explored, so the th+a team added a construction professional to the team and began a quick comparative study of three different options for consideration – the original solution to Expand/Renovate, a second to replace the entire operation on a new site, and finally, an option for full replacement on the existing site. The result of the study, presented to the Board, was an interesting exercise that provided the Board the necessary information to select a direction and to begin soliciting community support for the Hospital’s future. The th+a team continues to work with the Hospital administration and the Board to map the path for the next seven to ten years.