The future is calling! Will you answers? Decide after diving into insights from years Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition judging.
If you're into veterinary hospital design, it's like Christmas: The most ... wonderful tiiiiiiime ... of the yeeeeear. And this year's Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition judging did not disappoint. (Spoiler alert: We're not announcing the Hospital of the Year or Merit Award winners just picked until March. #SpoilerNotSpoiler)
Per usual, writers and editors from Veterinary Economics sat in on the judges' deliberations, but this year we thought we'd give you a hint of some trends we saw in this year's judge comments and entry photos.
1. Small is the new big
We can't say whether it's because of new graduates' bigger debt loads, a lasting change in private veterinary practice or just a one-year trend in contest entries, but judges saw more leaseholds and smaller hospitals this year. Are practice owners trying to pack more revenue potential into smaller floor plans? Are banks cutting smaller checks? Is the economy still not fully recovered from the recession and holding back some folks from building the next great Taj Mahal of veterinary medicine? Take a guess. It'll be as good as ours.
2. Bank on banks-turned-veterinary-practices
Architects on hand agreed that banks are making particularly good conversion projects these days. (One of the entries was a bank conversion.) The buildings are often in prime locations, often corners, with good-looking architecture and lots of windows. Plus, if you're still angry about the housing bubble, Wall Street shenanigans or banking malfeasance, turning a failed bank into a pet-healing practice might feel like sweet revenge.
3. Go urban-or don't
Rather than every veterinary hospital aiming for a modern, 20th-century-hospital white, more entries aimed for either homey and country-style or hip, urban and industrial. Veterinary practice owners may be thinking more about appealing to the personal taste and desires of potential clients in the immediate area. It's about high-quality medicine and healing animals for all these hospitals, but there's more thinking about the folks at the other end of the leash.
Are any of these temporary fads? Will a monolithic veterinary hospital style return in force? Will good bank locations dry up? Will next year's Hospital of the Year contenders go big again? Dunno. Close your eyes, shake the Magic 8-Ball and find out …
In the meantime, watch for the Hospital of the Year in the March 2016 issue of dvm360. Then enjoy the Hospital Design Supplement coming free with the June 2016 issue of dvm360.
Need more? I'll be at the 2016 Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference with the smartest folks in veterinary financing and hospital design. Learn more here.