Superconvergence and the Future of Healthcare Facilities

This year’s annual CHES conference opened with a keynote address from Benjie Nycum that delved into the changes on the horizon for healthcare facilities planning. Here is a bit from his abstract:

Healthcare challenges in the future do not have a roadmap of experiences on which to create policies and plans, but they will be real, massive and swift: Technology-driven change is coming to healthcare that will combine with real pressures to disrupt almost every current healthcare practice. We have seen this disruption happen to other industries (for example the music industry in the 00’s presently in education and the taxi business). Much of this change has been good for consumers, but for providers it has created a new landscape. Unlike for other industries and service providers, technology-driven change has been slow and incremental for healthcare because there is so much liability and risk. But once these factors are overcome, the current paradigm will be massively disrupted. Most of the change will not be predictable or created and managed by the people in the know. It will come through the backdoor in unexpected ways. The driver of this disruption will be the superconvergence of technologies combined with diminished financial and human resources. The current planning window for any healthcare facility must recognize that plans will be implemented during this disruption so it is very important to avoid applying current assumptions. Things to think about:
• What are the factors and technologies leading to this disruption?
• How will the roles of patients and healthcare providers change?
• What will be the role of facilities when technology enables healthcare to be delivered in environments created by algorithms and networks rather than bricks and mortar?
• What is the future of the hospital?
• How do we get ahead of this so we can seize it as an opportunity rather than be subordinated to it?