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This Approach Will Save You Time & Money On Your Next Facility Build

Healthcare is always changing, but the need to provide in-person services isn't going anywhere. This means that you need to have a plan to execute healthcare facilities that are designed and equipped to enhance your patient experience and improve your flow of care. 

Because of the never-ending need for healthcare facilities, having a plan to expand should be on your to-do list. Moving quickly with a building approach that meets your goals and a partner who can help you expand and optimize your footprint is key.

What to Consider Before Building

When selecting a building approach and partner it’s important to examine the following:

  • Complexity and size of the project
  • Capacity and technical capability of team to closely manage the process
  • Individual project drivers
  • Sensitivity to cost and schedule escalations
  • Knowledge of design and construction

Types of Approaches

Traditionally, there are two widely used building delivery methods:

  1. Design-build

Under this method, an owner typically hires a single entity (like DBSI) to create the design and implement the construction process to completion. This typically consists of all design, millwork, engineering, municipal permit submittals, selection of subcontractors, coordination of vendors, and on-site project supervision. With this method, all parties work together for a common goal and vision from the beginning. Moreover, if there is a guaranteed maximum initial price agreed to, there is a reduced likelihood of price increases throughout the process.


  1. Design-bid-build

In this traditional process, the owner separately contracts a design firm and building contractor. The design firm develops the design plans then the owner or project manager solicits bids from contractors to perform the work. In this approach, designers and contractors have no legal obligation to one another, and the owner is the project manager and bears all risks associated with the completeness of the design documents.


Why Do Design-Build?

As healthcare continues to focus on cost-cutting measures, working models, and process efficiencies, research shows the  design-build method outperforms design-bid-build according to the following from a 2018 University of Pennsylvania study.

DBSI Healthcare Design-Build


A simplified process

If design-build sounds like the right fit for you, then you’ll want to consider who’s the best partner. Creating an engaging patient experience that mirrors your brand is complex, but if you pick the right partner, it can be easy. At DBSI, we have developed a simplified 6d process for managing a successful design-build.


Fittingly named, 6d breaks the process for building a facility into the following six easy phases guaranteed to get the job done fast, at an affordable cost, and at a beyond-exceptional standard.

  1. Discover. This phase focuses on gaining executive alignment around what your brand stands for and your objectives to ensure the outcome aligns with your patient experience vision. This is the foundation for the whole project and includes surveys, interviews, and site visits.

  2. Define. Next, we use the information from the discovery to create a playbook that serves as our truth north for the strategic direction, branding, physical appearance and project timeline.

  3. Design. Now, this is when the fun starts. We go beyond the floorplans, including recommendations for the right digital technologies, patient journey, interior finishes, furniture, and even staff training to deliver on your desired patient experience in a finalized design strategy.

  4. Document. This is where you are going to be happy with this approach. We compile all of the construction documents and work directly with local agencies to approve and move your project forward.

  5. Deliver. At this point, you will start seeing your vision come to life once the contractor bidding is complete. If you have preferred local contractors you want to use for a project, we can collaborate to incorporate them into the bidding process too. This also gets you publicly noticed for supporting local businesses and reinvesting in your community. It removes risk and responsibility from you, while still giving business to your preferred partners.

  6. Debrief. After the project is complete, we will meet to discuss lessons learned to create a repeatable, sustainable, and cost-effective program for future projects.

A streamlined method like this will help you safely and efficiently optimize the expansion of your healthcare network to meet the unique needs of the communities you serve, enhance the patient and visitor experience, and deliver on ROI.

Let’s Build Better Healthcare Spaces Together

Learn more about the design-build and our 6d approach in this fun guide:  Design-Build for Dummies.


As you can probably tell already, we're not your typical design-build company. For us, people are at the center of all we do. We understand the sustainability, infection prevention, cost-cutting, and staffing pressures you are under in healthcare and pride ourselves on leveraging best design-building practices. We have a full program execution team and project and price transparency every step of the way to help you meet your goals to provide better care on a faster timeline.

Schedule a strategy session or give us a call at 855.ASK.DBSI.

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