Healthcare is often viewed as a separate real estate category, and in many ways it is. But that does not mean that dealing with healthcare properties is always more difficult than it is for other types of real estate. Actually, most healthcare sites are either specialized retail locations with limited location options, or specialized offices with a number of support and operating responsibilities.

This means that healthcare organizations need to be better at the blocking and tackling of their real estate data than other companies. Being both specialized and limited means that the risks associated with any given location decision are that much greater.

So it’s not enough to know your location; you also must be able to easily track each location’s key contract dates. Here “easily track” means that a request for all of the critical dates for the next 12 months can be fulfilled within four hours—half a business day—of receiving it, and ideally faster than that. Since this is not specifically about technology, either an Excel spreadsheet or lease administration system is up to the task.

This simple approach can help begin to provide transparency into the decisions and their impact. Once the basics are in place, you can start to track performance by location. Simply looking at this basic information will make your team more flexible. But if you can’t quickly produce the data, it means you don’t have anyone responsible for tracking and managing it. The cost of missing a single date could cost you millions in lost opportunity.

Therefore, with respect to changes in healthcare, it is imperative that you take a tactical approach to your portfolio and build from there. This could mean aggregating data from a variety of internal and external sources in order to drive your strategy and analytics, and further define the appropriate steps to execution.

Look for more information on the data and analytics platform in subsequent issues of The Pulse.

David Music is the senior managing director of consulting and works with the GHS & GCS platforms.

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2018 Healthcare Real Estate Outlook