Insights from Vanderbilt University’s Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium

Henderson Engineers recently attended Vanderbilt University’s 16th Annual Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium. Mark Chrisman, Health Sector Executive, Russ Carter, Hospital Practice Director, and Greg Johnson, Business Development Director at Henderson Building Solutions, returned from Nashville with the following takeaways regarding current trends and topics in healthcare design:

Care Everywhere

A key takeaway from the symposium was that only 30% of care in the future will be provided in an acute care environment, such as a hospital campus. Acute care hospitals tend to be uninviting facilities and are not culturally reaffirming for diverse, urban communities. Because of this, hyperlocal care is on the rise and continues to be a trend.

Bringing care to the people and promoting cultural diversity at a local level will continue to be important to build trust with the communities these facilities serve. Additionally, telemedicine is a growing field and helps to drive some desperately needed efficiencies as health systems battle cost pressures and the rising costs of capital.

Considering these noticeable trends, standalone hospitals with no scale and no low-cost outpatient care strategies will have an increasingly difficult time competing and could potentially cease to exist.


Nearly 10% of all carbon emissions in the United States come from healthcare facilities. Many systems have adopted the mantra of “healthcare without harm” as they strive to enact more sustainable processes into their buildings. By reducing emissions, facilities can have a positive impact on the health of the communities they serve.

Tactics that can be utilized for reducing scope one and two emissions include metering and fault detection, commissioning and retro-commissioning, on-site photovoltaics, green microgrids, virtual power purchase agreements from green suppliers, and the creation of new efficient equipment specifications.

Life Sciences

Research, development, and innovation will all play a key role in the future of healthcare and precision medicine. As the industry evolves and advances, it is likely that most of these services will be located close to hospitals or near academic medical centers for collaborative purposes.

Henderson Knows Health

Henderson has been designing healthcare projects for 25+ years and understands that each facility, campus, and project requires a unique approach. With that great responsibility comes the need to design solutions for patient safety, complex equipment, facility infrastructure, and resident comfort. Our experts are on the frontlines helping healthcare providers navigate new technology, complicated code requirements, and the emergence of neighborhood medtail clinics – all while taking patient care and safety as seriously as our clients do. To learn more about our Health Sector, click here.

Written By
Mark Chrisman

Health Sector Executive | Principal

Written By
Greg Johnson

Business Development Director | Henderson Building Solutions


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