How Important It is to Identify the Right Location for Your Hospital
The first question that pops up when you plan to build a hospital is “Where will your hospital be located?”. The impact of a hospital location affects not only its societal contribution but also its profitability as a business. This is why site selection is one of the topmost priorities of hospital infrastructure planning. The site for the hospital should be carefully selected by the hospital operations management keeping in mind the various factors like accessibility, geographical location, size of the plot, budget, etc. Expert healthcare consulting firms can help in identifying the right location for the hospital.
Factors to consider for selecting the right location for your hospital
Selecting the right location is the first step in hospital infrastructure planning and this is governed by the following factors
- The Vision of the project
Before selecting the location of the hospital, the hospital operations management must clearly define the vision of the project. Is the hospital a uni-speciality or a multi-speciality? Who are the target audience or customers of the hospital? Should the hospital cater to the urban or rural audience or both? Should the hospital target the elite or the commoner? Where is the hospital expected to stand in ranking in the healthcare market? All these factors will decide not only the design but also the facilities required at the hospital. This, in turn, will affect the size of the hospital. The hospital’s size influences the site location for the hospital. So, to select the right location for the hospital, a clear understanding of its mission and vision is a must.
- Plot Size
The next factor in selecting the hospital location is the plot size. The size of the hospital is fixed depending on the healthcare services it provides, its capacity, number of beds, etc. Plans for future expansion must also be taken into consideration as finding large expanse of land within the heart of the city might prove difficult in the coming years. Based on all this, the hospital location must be selected with provision for future expansion.
- Floor Area Ratio
Every hospital needs to have several wings or departments which add on as it grows. The hospital grows horizontally if there is enough land in the perimeter like in a rural surrounding. In an urban environment, this is not possible and so the hospital grows vertically. In either case, the Floor Area Ratio of the hospital determines how cramped it will be.
The Floor Area Ratio -FAR-is the ratio of the total area of all the floors of the hospital put together to the area of the sites. So, if the hospital has a 2 storey building, half of the site area is covered by the building and the remaining is the open space left for parking, traffic lanes, landscaping, etc. This 2:1 ratio is the highest FAR a hospital can have. This is usually the FAR for hospitals located in crowded city centres. But this is not recommended and is seen as the last option when there is a demand for space and land is at a premium.
The recommended FAR for a hospital is between 0.5:1 and 1.5:1.
- Public Utilities
The hospital should be located at an area where public utilities are easily available like water supply, electricity and means for sewage disposal.
During hospital infrastructural planning, the water supply requirement is taken as one of the prime criteria for the hospital’s site selection. On an average, a hospital needs 300-400 litres of water per bed. In addition is the water required for hospital maintenance, staff residences, and clinical purposes. Every hospital should have at least 3 days of water in stock at any given time. Keeping in mind these factors, the hospital should be located in an area with abundant water supply.
Next is the sewage disposal facility. Every hospital generates 300-400 litres of liquid waste and 1 kg of solid waste per day. It is better for the hospital to be located in an area where it is connected to the public sewage disposal system. If not, the hospital has to construct its own sewage disposal unit.
Most important of all, the hospital must be situated in an area where there is uninterrupted power supply as all clinical activities need continuous electric power. It is better for the hospital to have its own transformer and substation.
Most important of all is the accessibility factor of the hospital, the impact of hospital location is most felt when it is used by a large number of people. This is possible only when the hospital is situated at or near the heart of the city to serve its social function.
The impact of hospital location is huge on its reputation, social standing and even its profitability, and quality of service. Get the right location selected for your hospital with the help of expert healthcare consulting firms to gain maximum mileage of its location.