Rural hospitals present unique opportunities and challenges for healthcare facility operators. Oftentimes, the infrastructure and building systems have not been updated for years and require significant improvements in order to meet today’s modern medical demands. Additionally, as these smaller, more remote hospitals are acquired by larger regional and national healthcare systems, the first step by new ownership is often to update and rehabilitate the building. But how can this be done thoughtfully, economically, and efficiently in ways that allow the engineering and facility staff to adapt to the changes? And how can the updates accurately reflect the specific needs of rural communities and the afflictions with which these areas most commonly face?
- Understand the existing facility and existing MEP systems/capacities and ask smart questions before planning and designing a renovation.
- Garner what code the facility was designed to as it relates to the various national and local codes and compare to the newer versions for MEP system impacts.
- Ensure MEP equipment is sized to be energy efficient, code compliant, and maintenance free/friendly.
- Understand the associated budget with an MEP renovation in a rural community. Labor pool, distance to major market, and maintenance departments have a cost impact in a renovation.