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3 Ways Healthcare Real Estate Could Change In The Next 10 Years

As technology transforms the healthcare industry, it is altering the real estate needs of providers. 

A recent Colliers International post discussing the future of healthcare and higher education real estate sheds light on several trends that will transform the healthcare sector in the next decade, according to Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health President and CEO Steve Klasko. Below are three examples. 

No. 1: Better Services, Smaller Footprint

3 Ways Healthcare Real Estate Could Change In The Next 10 Years

As technology makes hospitals more efficient and increasingly cuts down on the time it takes staff to complete paperwork and juggle tasks, the need for large hospitals will decline. Klasko foresees buildings shrinking in square footage and becoming better equipped with smart technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict the needs of patients and treat them. More surgical procedures like hip or knee replacements are being completed faster and more efficiently, often shifting to become outpatient services that do not require overnight stays, reducing the need for larger facilities. Klasko predicted efficiency could increase so much that the number of physical hospitals could be reduced by up to 25% nationwide over the next 10 years.

This trend is already gaining momentum with the rise of micro-hospitals, which are full-service hospitals on a smaller scale. Despite being smaller, the facilities provide emergency and inpatient care, Colliers reports, with some even providing surgical procedures as well as labor and delivery services.

No. 2: Retail And Medicine Will Become One 

Within the next decade, the medical and retail sectors will converge, Klasko predicts. Malls will increasingly incorporate medical offices alongside consumer brands, making it easy for people to take care of tasks like having blood work done and then picking up a gift for a friend shortly after.

This could be particularly beneficial to struggling malls that have lost retail tenants due to bankruptcies. Urgent care operators in particular are known to have strong financial covenants.

No. 3: Paper Records Will Be A Thing Of The Past

In the span of 10 years, there will be less of a need for large back-office space in doctor's offices, Klasko predicts. Instead, records will be maintained electronically and in the form of wearables. This also means doctors will be able to receive information in real time if a patient has an irregular heartbeat or is having a medical episode.