Our mission at Verto360 is to introduce much-needed change to an industry that has not seen significant change in over 70 years. My personal passion is to direct that change into facilities where it will have the greatest impact.

In 2015, I did a lot of reading and research on the challenges faced by the healthcare sector here in Ontario and across North America. In 2016, I consolidated what I’d learned into a White Paper: 5 Catalysts Driving Change in Health Care Facilities.” You can catch the whole thing here.

The other day, just for fun, I re-read the paper.

It left me with a helluva heartburn.

The drivers and the need for change are now more apparent than ever. Why is it then that we’re still designing and building healthcare facilities the way we did 50 years ago?

And believe me, we’re doing exactly that. I know because I get asked to price them every day.

The drivers of change in healthcare point to four attributes:

  • Change readiness
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Adaptability

A reasonable list, no? A list with costly implications.

And yet, I can tell you that virtually nothing in the way Ontario healthcare facilities, public or private, are designed or built embraces these attributes.

Real estate, for instance, is simultaneously one of the biggest assets and greatest liabilities within the entire system.

Real estate, of course, grows obsolete with the passing of time. At the same time – and pulling in the opposite direction — new technologies, shifting demographics and needs are rapidly evolving. Naturally, these forces place ever-increasing demands on an ageing infrastructure.

Whether healthcare organizations own, lease, or leverage public-private partnerships to create their facilities, the lack of change-readiness, flexibility, scalability and/or adaptability guarantees there will be heavy future costs to the system and so to us, the taxpayers.

How’s that for a bitter pill to swallow?

How is it that, a society we agree that access to healthcare is essential — meaning we are all on the hook to pay for that care – and yet we continue to design and build our healthcare facilities without taking into account the actual long-term costs of running a healthcare system? How is that justifiable?

You’re right. It’s not.

Something needs to change for change to happen.

The good news is, there is a smart remedy that’s within our reach.

We have the advanced design, manufacturing and building technology available to us right now to create healthcare facilities that will meet the needs of today and tomorrow. As of today, we could stop clinging to outdated standards that will only exasperate existing conditions and drive up the cost of change.

We could make the shift if we wanted to. The thing is, to make that shift, we need to act together because we — the industry, the healthcare system, the politics of both — are all part of one big ailing body.

So, collectively, do we have the will to act? That’s the question, isn’t it?

Let’s see who’ll come to grips with that.