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Future Clinic Trends Pose Construction Implications

Written by: Philip Macey | Healthcare Design

Considering the healthcare landscape’s uncertain climate, JE Dunn Construction recently partnered with HKS Inc. and the Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE) to answer one fundamental question: How do we design, not for a faceless future, but for an ever-changing present?


The team specifically delved into what the key drivers of change are in healthcare, then reviewed prevalent trends, assessed the facility implications of those trends, identified innovations through case studies, and filtered their findings into what patients and physicians want—all in order to develop a framework for a change-ready clinic. Healthcare is an ever-changing industry that calls for innovation in the design and construction process. One of CADRE’s many individual projects, Clinic 20XX responds to this call in a study that’s divided into five core components:

  • Literature review to identify key drivers of systemic change
  • Literature review to identify key trends in response to drivers
  • Case study research looking at three clinics that exemplified emerging trends
  • Survey distribution to 150 millennials and 150 baby boomers who had visited a clinic for the first time in the previous six months
  • Survey distribution to 100 family practice physicians and internal medicine physicians.


All of the information gathered was then put together to develop a framework for the type of spaces that will soon be necessary. Here is a deeper look at the findings from a construction perspective.


Technology takes center stage
Some of the team’s biggest findings were in the arena of technology and its continuing expansion into healthcare facilities. There’s a shift taking place where providers are moving from the standard physical, office-based version of healthcare to a digital, mobile-friendly approach. The clinic now becomes a place where digital information will need to be available, in waiting and exam rooms, staff spaces, and on to billing and accounting. Upgraded technology systems will be necessary to support this.


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