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The Number of Retail Healthcare Clinics is Exploding: Here’s How They Can Manage Building Maintenance Expenses

The dramatic increase in the number of retail and urgent care facilities is fundamentally changing the way healthcare is delivered in the United States. While this may be good news for consumers who are looking for convenience, low cost and shorter wait time, for the general managers of these retail healthcare “stores,” the challenge of providing building maintenance for these centers is constant – around the clock, 7 days a week. For example, when there is a problem with a leaky roof in one of these centers, professional contractors such as DK Haney Roofing must complete an inspection, research the warranty for the building and repair the problem as expeditiously as possible, all while avoiding the disruption of patient service.

Managing the Maintenance of Retail Clinic Buildings

More and more, investment groups, composed of physicians and healthcare executives are building free-standing retail healthcare clinics and then hiring a general manager who is charged with ensuring the facility is safe and attractive to patients. Because this is very much a “retail” environment, as opposed to a traditional hospital, having an attractive, well-lit and fully functional facility, in many cases open 24/7, any problems with the structure of the clinic can result in serious loss of revenue. The ownership group, which might be spread across the country, relies on the managers to keep track of all maintenance issues and ensure that these expenses are within the framework of the clinic’s annual budget.

“I believe the greatest challenge for the managers of these retail healthcare clinics is knowing what the current condition of the facility is and trusting the information is current enough to make decisions,” said Will Riley of DK Haney Roofing. “Compiling past invoices, inspections, bids and warranties is really not enough information.

“In an ideal situation, the facility managers for building owners of these retail clinics would know:

  • The age of the roof
  • How many more years (or months) it will be serviceable
  • Where there are open repairs, that water can leak into the clinic
  • What remedial or future repairs will be needed
  • What is the forecast for replacement of the roof and how this impacts the clinic’s budget

“There are many factors on a commercial roof that can cause the conditions to change over a short period of time. Tenants often purchase equipment or change rooftop equipment and think it’s acceptable to do their own roofing repairs. This can jeopardize the roof system or disrupt the warranty if this is done incorrectly. We see this happen all the time! We recommend site visits a couple times a year and this is our opportunity to update our records for our customers.

The DK Haney Web-based Maintenance System Gives a Retail Clinic Knowledge to Make Better Decisions

For the general managers of retail and urgent care facilities, knowledge is power, especially as it relates to getting a clinic’s roof repaired on a timely basis. With proper documentation, the general manager and owners can evaluate any problem and make decisions about repairs on an “as needed” basis.

“We focus on the collection of information in a format that can be sorted and viewed across an entire portfolio,” said Riley. “We obtain all available warranty information, visit these roofs and complete full inspection reports. We help our customers get ahead of their service calls instead of waiting for a serious issue that could cause patient disruption.

“For our customers who may have too many locations to afford our visiting all of their sites at one time, we strategically visit each of their properties over a longer period of time during the course of service calls. This allows us to capture the information and build their online client portal database. Once we have inventoried all of their properties, they will feel confident about their ongoing decisions.

“Maintaining facilities can be very expensive, so a smart allocation of funds for clinic maintenance can significantly impact the future expenditures necessary to keep these properties up to par. This is not limited to just the roof but includes the other aspects of the clinics such as heating and air conditioning. We are able to save our customers money both in the short term and in the long term by reducing unplanned spending and by extending the life of their roofs.”

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