Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Healthcare Construction Projects
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption to a wide range of industries and construction in the healthcare sector is no different. Healthcare systems are navigating the immediate needs of patient care, overshadowed by uncertain revenue and market impacts brought on by the pandemic.
While many hospitals have full or even overcrowded emergency rooms and intensive care units, the same hospitals have either decided to or have been required to forego elective surgeries, potentially compromising cash flow and raising concern over capital expenditures.
Healthcare construction projects have always been considered as secondary to or in support of clinical operations. As our healthcare system braces for the brunt of the impact from COVID-19, this standard practice holds true now more than ever. The result is leaving capital project teams working to decipher the best way to continue moving forward – making progress where they are able while working to minimize delay and cost exposure.
Many states are operating under a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order allowing only “essential” businesses to remain open. With some exceptions, construction has often been considered an “essential” business. However, this does not mean that projects are proceeding without limitation as there are several factors healthcare systems must consider. These include the organization’s overall financial health, clinical impact from construction, patient and community safety, internal resource availability, and other outside factors that could present project risks, such as delays or cost overruns.