May 2023
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has released a new report that details the extraordinary financial pressures continuing to affect hospitals and health systems, as well as access to patient care. The Costs of Caring report found expenses across the board saw double digit increases in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, including for workforce, drugs, medical supplies, and equipment, as well as other essential operational services like IT, sanitation, facilities management, and food and nutrition services. These factors led to the most financially challenging year for hospitals and health systems since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving over half of hospitals operating at a financial loss at the end of 2022, and with negative operating margins continuing into 2023. This puts access to vital services at risk.

The report found:
  • Overall hospital expenses increased by 17.5% between 2019 and 2022. This far outpaced Medicare reimbursement, which only increased 7.5% during this same time.
  • Labor costs, which on average account for about half of hospitals’ total budget, increased 20.8% between 2019 and 2022. This is in large part due to a greater reliance on contract staffing agencies to fill workforce gaps and to meet patient demand. The outcome of this has been a staggering 258% increase in total contract labor expenses for hospitals in 2022 compared to 2019.

Providing an accommodating level of comfort, Kwalu’s Casale Modular Collection easily adapts to your space. Multiple configurations are achieved by combining the lounge chairs, love seats and corner wedge units in the collection, either freestanding or connected, with or without backs.

The Casale bench and wedge chairs are available with solid-surface tops. Other optional features include floating arms and black or white power modules on selected units.

Visit Kwalu's NeoCon showroom 1199 on the 11th floor.
Running a healthcare clinic is no easy task; patient care is just the tip of the iceberg. Clinic administrators juggle compliance, safety, and day-to-day operations. But fear not! Enter the facility management company and its maintenance staff! This is the group that can make all the difference, says facilities services provider OpenWorks. Learn how relying on an outsourced facility management company for your healthcare clinic can revolutionize and supercharge your operations.

Efficient facility operations:
Healthcare clinics are complex facilities that require careful management to ensure smooth operations. A facility management company brings expertise in overseeing all aspects of facility management, including cleaning and maintenance, repairs, safety inspections, and vendor management.

The global smart badge market is set to expand rapidly at 9% CAGR over the next 10 years. This Smart Badges Market report from Fact.MR explains what smart badges are and how they can be used in safety, security/access, tracking, desk occupancy and compliance applications for a variety of industries, particularly in government and healthcare facilities.

A smart badge is a transportable multi-mode tracker in the form of an ID card that contains embedded sensors that combine a Wi-Fi sniffer, GPS, BLE, low-power GPS, and LoRaWAN TDoA geolocation technologies to give precise and continuous geolocation.
A smart badge is an excellent gadget for workforce safety and security tracking, zone notification, and surveillance. It is lightweight and simple to use, with a single button providing access to customizable features.

Several metrics point to the U.S. life sciences industry and the real estate that houses it proving resilient during the current economic slowdown, according to a new report from CBRE. Among those factors: a growing total of clinical trials for new drugs, persistent job growth, more federal funding, and ample cash reserves for the industry’s larger companies.

These factors and others will influence the rapidly growing market for life sciences real estate, according to the 2023 U.S. Life Sciences Outlook. CBRE forecasts that cumulative square footage of lab space in the largest 13 U.S. life sciences markets, already having expanded by 47% in the past five years, will increase by another 22% within the next two years to 220 million sq. ft. as projects currently under construction are completed. Nearly a third of that space under construction is pre-leased. That’s not to say the life sciences sector is immune to the economic slowdown, notes the report. Recent turmoil in the banking sector is likely to hamper venture capital funding this year for startup life sciences and tech companies. Initial public offerings by life sciences companies have fallen off.

Fast reads . . .
The Book of the Week from FMLink's new Books section hails from the Architecture category. This collection of peer-reviewed books has been curated by the editorial team at FMLink to provide facilities, engineering and A&D professionals with access to publications relating to the Architecture topic.

Building Type Basics for Healthcare Facilities is a one-stop source for the essential information architects need to fast-start the design process. In this book, leading healthcare architects from across the United States share their knowledge and expertise on all aspects of healthcare facility design. Beginning with a wide-ranging, architect-oriented assessment of the healthcare industry's needs, Building Type Basics For Healthcare Facilities provides critical information that enables architects to initiate successful designs for inpatient, outpatient, and long-term care facilities.

By Sara Marberry — I’ve known Paul Cleary since we met at a healthcare design event in 1998 when he was the general manager for Bonar Floors in the U.S. Shortly after that, he hired me as a consultant to help promote Bonar Floors’ unique Flotex textile floor tile.
I’d never heard of Bonar Floors or Flotex before that, but working with Paul was a great experience. He understood the value of marketing and was willing to try things. He listened to people and treated them with kindness and respect. And I have to think that our efforts to elevate the Flotex brand in the U.S. was part of what led Forbo to acquire Bonar Floors in 2008.

Paul’s backstory
The story of Paul’s career in the commercial flooring and textile industry began more than 25 years ago, when he came to Chicago from his native Ireland to run operations for Bonar Floors in the Americas, which he did for 13 years. After that, he held senior positions at Mohawk, Lexmark Carpets, Tarkett, and Twitchell. He was enjoying his relatively new role as senior vice president for Healthcare and Senior Living at Mohawk when the investor owners of Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering offered him the position of CEO and President last December. But it felt like the right move, so he left a job he loved to take on an even bigger challenge.

Providing programming for facility managers and commercial interior designers across a range of educational topics and categories is a hallmark of NeoCon at THE MART in Chicago. On June 12-14, 2023, the roster of live and virtual seminars are CEU-accredited and offer the wisdom of industry experts.
The showrooms and booths offer many product selections for healthcare interiors and a few sessions in its virtual CEU programing. They are:

DEI at the Intersection of Art & Design: A Penn State Health Case Study. Margi Kaminski, ASID, NCIDQ, Principal, Director Health Interiors, CannonDesign; Troy Hoggard, AIA, EDAC, Design Principal, CannonDesign; Aimee Platt, CHID, IIDA, LEED AP, Associate Vice President, Interior Design, CannonDesign. Diversity and equity are the building blocks of population health — with this in mind, how can healthcare systems convey an atmosphere of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) through their environments? This presentation will focus on a case study at Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center. There we developed “personas” representing the area’s diverse demographics. These personas provided the perspective to help the design team imagine the individual experiences and emotional connections that tie people to place. 

Antimicrobial Textiles: Science Fiction vs Facts from the Lab. Suzanne Drake, CID, LEED ID+C, WELL AP, Fitwell Ambassador, NCIDQ Senior Interior Designer, Revel Architecture and Design; and Erica Hartmann, PhD, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University. Many products are marketed to designers and architects touting antimicrobial benefits, yet antimicrobials are also flagged as chemicals of concern by many authoritative lists. This has created confusion around if or when using these treated products makes sense. They will dive into this chemical class by focusing on one common use: as a textile treatment.