A Project Planning Guide for Healthcare Facility Owners
Walrath, Bryan James
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According to a recent study, about 30 percent of U.S. real estate projects are canceled midstream, while more than half run up to 190 percent over budget and 220 percent over the initial time estimate. The reasons for this are manifold but poor decisions during the initiation and early planning of the project can be pointed to as main causes. Most poor decisions stem from lack of information, bad judgment, and lack of communication and transparency between what the client expects and what the project team can deliver. Proper project planning procedures and methods will lead to proper contingency planning, management of partner relationships and contracts, management of dynamic change and associated risks that can, and most probably will, occur in the course of the project. The role of the owner cannot be overstated in all of these targets. Historically, the owners of healthcare facilities have a once in a lifetime involvement in the planning, design and construction (or major renovation) of their facility. The interaction with planners, public bodies, architects, engineers, and other entities is a daunting prospect for which an owner will seek help from specialized firms that represent the owner. This guide may serve as a healthcare project planning guide for owners, and in particular CEOs, to navigate the process. It will prepare the owner to recognize the major tasks and decision steps throughout project planning, while keeping the focus on the desired outcome. Any owner should recognize that the slogan: if you dont know what you want, you will not get what you need is as true today as it ever was. This guide will include research, best practices from industry experts, and a case study on the New Orleans public healthcare planning process post-Hurricane Katrina.