IKM’s managing principal, John Schrott, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, was invited for the second year in a row to moderate a panel discussion of healthcare facility executives about the trends affecting the design and construction of healthcare facilities across the country. A diverse panel of experts representing the major, local healthcare institutions and a representative from a national real estate firm specializing in healthcare development participated in the discussion.
As an architect, Schrott’s 30+ years of experience has focused on healthcare design. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Architects and also holds an Evidence-based Design Accreditation Certificate. John leads the healthcare practice group, the largest market segment, at IKM and is the ideal choice to lead the discussion for the SMPS Pittsburgh Healthcare Panel.
“I draw on my understanding of the industry, my experience, and my appreciation of the wants of the audience, my goal was to formulate questions for the panelists that can evoke a substantive conversation,” said Schrott of his preparation for the presentation.
Schrott started the lunch discussion with questions that got to the heart of the challenges for the healthcare facilities professionals. Asking, “What is the biggest challenge facing your organization’s planning, design and construction efforts?” As well as a follow up question regarding “whether the local marketplace has the skill sets to meet the needs of the local institutions.”
The panelist stated that it was important that both the design and construction firms understand the nuances of the business of healthcare and know how to design a project that balances the needs of all the stakeholders, the customer/patient, the end user and the administration. Both local institutions stated that the expertise that is present in Pittsburgh is well equipped and positioned to support their ongoing needs.
AIA Pittsburgh President and IKM Principal, Michael McDonnell, AIA, said “As healthcare architects, we are working hard to help our clients meet the challenges they face including increased demand innovation and efficiency from administration, dwindling budgets, and aging facilities. As trusted partners in the process, we strive to not only meet their expectations, but exceed them.” McDonnell continued, “As expected, John did a great job managing the discussion and helped everyone understand the day to day challenges we all face in healthcare design and construction. It was a very good event.”
Schrott also asked the questions everyone in the room wanted to know, “What is the most important value or quality you look for when hiring design or construction professionals?’ Additional questions focused on construction delivery methods, needed skill sets and how best to facilitate worthwhile communication between marketing healthcare and AEC design professionals.
While Owners appreciate receiving information in both digital and hard copy formats there was general consensus that direct face to face contact was the most valuable. To keep these meetings concise and focused as to how the design or construction professional can help the Owner succeed on a particular project was expressed as the appropriate approach.
“It was great to hear from leaders at AHN & UPMC about how we can help make them successful with the work that we do,” said Roger Hartung, AIA, NCARB, and IKM Principal also responsible for managing healthcare clients.
“The SMPS Pittsburgh Healthcare Panel is always one of the Chapter’s most well attended events annually. The panelists – AHN, UPMC, and CBRE all had great insight into the healthcare sector and I left the event with some new connections from the local market, plus good feedback from the panelists on items to consider when pitching our team to them, or any healthcare entity, in the future,” said Katie Stern, A. Martini & Co., Marketing Director and SMPS Pittsburgh Sponsorship Co-Chair.
According to SMPS data, the event drew 90 registrants including contracting companies, architects, engineers, and other subcontractor/consultants. As the Society for Marketing Professional Services, more than half of the audience comprised marketing and business development professionals in the AEC industry and of the total participants approximately 42% represented project management or senior level personnel.