Why PropTech Investments Are Critical for Medical Office Buildings
Changing tides in the commercial real estate industry have caught the attention of landlords across various property types. Medical Office Buildings are becoming sought-after targets for the next big commercial real estate opportunity.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the MOB sector in numerous ways:
- Healthcare employment dropped and many workers left the industry for good.
- Technology accelerated on all fronts, across industries for consumers in their daily lives. People, and patients, expect contactless experiences, from shopping for groceries to navigating public spaces.
- There’s been increasing focus on offering a healing environment to help alleviate patient stress and anxiety
This shift in consumer behavior, fueled by the increased reliance on technology for safety and connectivity while apart, led to more tech-savvy consumers. The expectation is that our world, and its medical facilities, is fitted with technology.
In this blog post, we explore how customer experience is becoming a key driver for PropTech investments in the healthcare industry, specifically in Medical Office Buildings (MOBs), as landlords strive to position their properties optimally in the evolving landscape.
The Influence of Customer Experience in MOBs
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the healthcare industry and MOBs are leveraging physical space and experiences to attract and retain customers.
Growing populations, the shift from going primarily to hospitals for medical care to community-based centers, and an increased focus on health literacy are all contributing to this.
As changing consumer preferences impact expectations, landlords are recognizing the need to enhance their properties’ design, décor, amenities, services, and overall experience. This article examines how MOBs are adapting to the evolving landscape and outlines the strategies employed to position themselves effectively.
Patients at the Forefront
The healthcare industry, driven by the substantial spending power of patients and increase in health awareness, is already a massive business with estimates exceeding $3 trillion in the U.S. market. In 2021 alone, healthcare spending in the U.S. accounted for over 18.3% of US GDP.
The growth of high deductible plans and plentiful options for where to get care empowers individuals with the ability to make decisions about their healthcare spending. With more out-of-pocket expenses, patients now have greater choices regarding where to allocate their healthcare dollars. We’ll discuss how patients are increasingly taking control of their healthcare decisions and the impact of their tech-driven expectations on the industry.
Location, Location, Location
As enclosed shopping malls and even some commercial spaces have fallen out of favor among consumers, these spaces have emerged as viable options for new medical offices.
There are several benefits of having medical practices in retail or shopping centers: For example, the simplicity of patients being able to readily pull up, park and walk right into a medical office, closer to home while they’re running errands nearby. Getting access to medical care in their own backyard is essential to members of the community.
Another benefit is for the retail or shopping center landlords, as they can easily repurpose space that is no longer used. Think the recent demise of Bed, Bath & Beyond, which has commercial operators scrambling for ways to fill those empty spaces. Although retail space can be an expensive option for a space, there are more deals to be had and attractive opportunities in the market.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that these retail spaces and medical facilities will experience change on their properties, and they’ll need modernization via PropTech to keep them future-proofed.
Integrating Technology for Competitive Advantage
As the healthcare sector changes, MOBs face their own competitive pressures. The rise in community-based healthcare has led to expansion of off-campus outpatient facilities and the subsequence surge in new MOB constructions. Tenant bankruptcies and leaving commercial spaces altogether has caused vacancies that can be repurposed into medical offices spaces. And these spaces need to be outfitted with the right building features to create an appealing customer experience.
When it comes to building features, community spaces and lounges, natural light and sustainable materials are at the top of the list. But a top need is having technology integrated throughout medical office buildings.
To remain competitive, property owners with older buildings must find creative ways to upgrade their spaces. By incorporating technology, such as intelligent building digital signage and wall displays or interactive kiosks, MOBs can enhance the patient experience, provide valuable information, and create a seamless environment for patients, visitors and caregivers.
The Intersection of Art and Technology for a Better Patient Experience
Recognizing the importance of patient waiting areas, there is a strong need to create comfortable, engaging spaces that align with modern expectations. Studies show that removing sources of patient stress is paramount to a positive healthcare environment and experience. News programming can actually increase stress, so careful consideration of what media is shown in the waiting room is necessary.
Patients benefit from mood-shaping media and wellness messages. With building digital signage, providers can offer both of these while also showcasing their commitment to staying current with digital technologies.
TouchSource offers innovating messaging board solutions in patient waiting rooms that enable healthcare organizations to control the patient experience while offering comort.
To help shape the mood within properties, we collaborate with TurningArt to deliver rotating artwork as a service and soothing digital art walls.
In a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, MOB landlords must invest in PropTech to meet the increasing demands for exceptional customer experiences. By incorporating technology, upgrading facilities, and embracing innovative solutions, MOBs can position themselves favorably, attract patients, and enhance the overall quality of care.
At TouchSource, we are committed to helping our clients achieve their goals. If you’re looking for your next lobby directory, video art wall display, interactive kiosks or other display types, let’s chat. Give us a call today or request a quote.