The design and construction of a facility plays a critical role in the delivery of care. Through this recognition, we plan, design and develop facilities as strategic tools to modify and enhance the way providers collaborate and integrate patient services. Broad integration (clinical, administrative and programmatic) is increasingly important and we design projects to capitalize and enable this growing trend.
Part of the integration concept is the notion that wellness will be an increasingly important part of healthcare. We believe that the healthcare industry will be called upon to shift its focus from treating sick patients to ensuring wellness. Economics will direct the shift but providers will need to have access to the wellness capabilities to perform. These integrated wellness capabilities will supports physicians and enable their patients to achieve and measure their goals in a monitored environment. Ultimately, it is more efficient and less costly to maintain health versus repairing it. Similarly, formal and measured rehabilitation will prove less costly than re-admission.
Integrated Wellness is far more than a gym or rehab facility. Integrated Wellness is premised on having a programmatic approach to (1) keeping well people well and/or (2) efficiently returning sick patients back health. Wellness Centers serve to support physicians and patients with education, formal programs (e.g. exercise, nutrition, cooking), rehabilitation, monitoring, continual clinical support and positive reinforcement. These services will not be limited to the infirm but extend also to the young and healthy (e.g. pre-natal programs) whose appreciation for healthy lifestyles is growing daily.
All the aforementioned will lead to action which will translate into a healthier population. It will also transform a hospital or medical setting into a wellness destination where people chose to go for a positive experience rather than a negative one. This will change the entire concept of healthcare and offer hospital and providers tremendous referral opportunities and program expansion opportunities.
PHYSICIAN PERSPECTIVE: If I tell a patient that lifestyle modifications may extend their lifespan they are clearly intrigued. In order for intrigue to morph into action, however, their behavior must change and new habits must be developed. If integrated wellness is available, simple encouragement and some formal structure can alter behavior. Wellness, with the integrated support and programs, can induce a patient to make meaningful changes in their lifestyle. A Wellness Center is the place where my continued involvement as a physician can help a patient make healthy positive changes. In an integrated facility, the seed I plant in my patients for a healthy life becomes reality.