Jun 17, 2020


by Ron Boozer

Health System Master Planning: Evaluating Needs for a New Normal

One of the foundational elements for the success of any business is a strong strategic plan. This plan outlines the organization’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. A healthcare system needs a well, thought-out strategic plan, and a well-defined master facility plan. Hospital facilities are quite complex based on the wide range of acuity of their patients, the intensity of life safety issues, and critical functional relationships. Even the age of their facilities comes into play. Maintaining a current master facility plan can prove invaluable to a healthcare organization – especially now.

As the country works through the impact of COVID-19, many hospital systems are beginning to resume “non-essential” or elective procedures.  As this happens, facilities will repopulate with patients, visitors, and healthcare providers. But will they feel safe? What strategies can hospitals employ to assure their campuses are a safe place for the community? 

Healthcare systems can start by revisiting their strategic plan to address the potential impacts of the coronavirus.  In addition, an updated campus and facility master plan will provide a roadmap for the future; a future that now requires living with the impacts of a pandemic and the fears that accompany it. While each community is different, a visionary master planning approach can:

  • Prevent debilitating impacts to hospital campuses due to a pandemic or catastrophic event
  • Assure facilities are flexible and can quickly respond to immediate demands for change
  • Assess and systematically plan for engineering system upgrades, replacements, and expansions
  • Prevent lack-of-planning mistakes that lead to wasteful capital expenditures
  • Build confidence in the community that facilities are modern and safe
  • Engage community participation and ownership through cooperation and collaboration
  • Encourage philanthropy by providing a fundraising platform

In summary, rather than continue to plan and design with a pre-coronavirus care delivery mindset, Little is partnering with our clients to understand the current environment and to envision new ideas that will ensure future success.

For additional healthcare articles, see links below:
Supporting Our Healthcare Heroes
The Sudden Rise of Telemedicine
Rethinking the Outpatient Waiting Room Experience
Addressing the Design Needs of Healthcare Workers


Ron Boozer

Ron serves as Design Principal in Little's Healthcare Studio and has over 30 years of master planning and design experience in the healthcare industry. Supporting client relationships in the strategic planning and design process, Ron brings extensive design knowledge of cancer centers, long term acute care, palliative care, emergency departments, surgery departments, children’s hospitals, maternity centers, and teaching hospitals.

More from this author