Not every community has a large hospital, and not every community needs one. But micro-hospitals – small-scale, licensed healthcare facilities – are an emerging trend in some markets to provide care where there isn’t enough demand to operate major hospitals.
Micro-hospitals are significantly smaller than community facilities, ranging from 15,000 to 50,000 square feet, but operate 24 hours a day and offer many of the acute and emergency services of full-scale hospitals. Services can also be adapted to meet the needs of a particular community; for instance, a micro-hospital in a suburban area with a large proportion of young families could offer more OB/GYN and pediatric services.
Micro-hospitals typically have the following offerings, according to the Advisory Board, a healthcare consulting agency:
- Acute care
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic imaging
Ancillary services may include:
- Primary care
- Outpatient rehab
- Outpatient surgery
- Specialty care
- Wellness services
- Women’s services
RTM Engineering Consultants is working on two micro-hospital projects in the Milwaukee metro area in Mequon and Oak Creek. Both facilities offer convenient essential medical services to communities that couldn’t support the substantial investment required for a full-scale hospital.
“Since these micro-hospitals are smaller, they are more accessible to patients,” said Timothy Larson, Principal at RTM. “It’s less daunting to navigate a micro-hospital than trying to find your way around a million square-foot campus, let alone find parking in a huge structure. But from an engineering standpoint, micro-hospitals require the same level of MEP equipment for patient safety and comfort. The biggest challenge has been rightsizing all of the necessary equipment into the smaller footprint.”
RTM works in MEP studios instead of separate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing departments, which facilitates collaboration, communication, and quick decision-making within MEP teams and with clients.
“The MEP studio assigned to these projects has many years of experience working with this healthcare organization,” said Larson. “That expertise has helped us work with the multiple stakeholders involved in the project and ensures that we are staying on track in a fast-paced environment.”
Learn more about RTM’s approach to healthcare MEP projects.