Wednesday, June 5, 2019


The results are in for the 2019 Hospital Construction Survey conducted by ASHE’s Health Facilities Management (HFM) magazine, which polls health care facility professionals, including ASHE members. Here’s how some of the results measure up to the 2018 survey data.

Construction budgets are up
The volume of hospital construction and commensurate budgets are up from previous years. For example, 23 percent of respondents said that they are currently renovating or building acute care hospitals, and 22 percent said they plan to do so within the next three years. This is an increase compared to the 2018 survey responses, which came in at 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Central energy plants are hot facility projects
Central energy plants are experiencing more activity in construction, renovation and replacement than last year. This year, 9 percent of respondents are building new or replacement plants, or renovating plants, and another 14 percent plan to do so within the next three years. This is an increase compared to the 2018 responses of 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively. The increase could be due to more facilities seeing the advantages of building new or replacement plants and/or renovating existing plants, such as reducing energy consumption.

Hospital commissioning is about the same
In regards to commissioning finished projects, 2018 and 2019 results are similar (74 percent and 72 percent, respectively). However, Chad Beebe, CHFM, FASHE, ASHE’s deputy executive director for advocacy, stated the survey may not reflect the reality of the situation, as hospitals that have recently completed only uncomplicated projects may report that they don’t commission. It is always recommended to commission projects for major systems and projects.

New 2019 data: The cost of conflicting health care facility codes
In 2019, HFM introduced a new poll gauging health care facility teams’ cost of compliance. According to survey results, 45 percent of respondants answered “yes” to incurring extra costs due to conflicting or improper code interpretations on construction projects completed within the last three years. This is not surprising to the field, as situations such as mixed-use occupancy of business and health care cause conflicting issues with authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs). 

Another hot point: Correcting compliance issues that were caused by conflicting or improper code interpretations costs 10 percent of a hospital’s construction spending, on average, according to the 2019 survey results. 

This year’s ASHE Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD offers education sessions that will take a deep dive into health care construction and hospital infrastructure topics. A sampling of sessions include: 

  • The Joint Commission Update
  • Facilities and Infrastructure Projects: How to Compete for the Diminishing Capital Dollars
  • Proving the Value of Commissioning
  • Leveraging “Owner-Centric Data” from Construction to Maintenance
  • Leveraging “Owner-Centric Data” from Construction to Maintenance

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