2021 promises major changes in healthcare policies and operations, technology development, and more. This article discusses some of the trends expected in hospital facilities in the coming year, and how Primex can help navigate the new landscape.
Facilities management is a rapidly growing industry, with companies investing greater attention to ensuring their facilities are meeting the latest benchmarks for efficiency, productivity, and return on investment. This growth is echoed in the healthcare industry where, despite many competing demands for resources, the operation and performance of facilities are under intense scrutiny. Healthcare executives are looking to see data and network access lead to operational efficiencies and performance improvements.
2021 promises major changes in healthcare policies and operations, technology development, and more. Below are some of the trends to look out for in health facilities management.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Health facilities, like many other large and complex campuses, are becoming increasingly technologically integrated and “smart,” as the IoT connects devices and buildings in new and exciting ways. Staff, patients, and visitors are all increasingly tech-savvy and linked to such smart networks throughout their day. Hospital facilities will be expected to keep pace with these users through IoT deployment and support for this development technology. From mobile check-in and screening questionnaires to occupancy sensors triggering lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls, and rapid monitoring of facility usage and performance — IoT linkages will increasingly become the norm for hospital facility management, in 2021 and beyond.
Continued Physical Distancing
The rise of physical distancing practices due to COVID-19 transmission concerns was an emerging trend in 2020, and it is expected that this will continue well into 2021 and likely even further into the future. Everything from patient intake to virtual-versus-live appointments and employee workspaces to corridor and waiting room design is likely to be impacted in some way by the need to allow for greater separation between individuals to mitigate the potential for spread of airborne pathogens. Making spaces flexible enough to accommodate these challenges will be important for health facilities management, creating environments that fit many situations and engender trust in those who use them.
Healthcare-Acquired Infections Reduction
The rate of HAI was already trending downward in recent years, but with the increased attentiveness to important spread-reduction practices (such as hand-washing, education, distancing, and enhanced cleaning), some further progress in HAI reduction has already been seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccines are increasingly available and communities recover from the worst peaks of the pandemic, every effort will be made to ensure HAI spread continues these positive trends.
Improved Alerts for Public Health and Safety Incidents
Public safety has already been an area of increased focus in recent years, but with the heightened awareness of a pandemic has come an even greater need to be able to communicate messages rapidly and simultaneously throughout facilities. This type of instant and widespread messaging is made increasingly feasible due to IoT deployment, and it will likely continue to be relevant and practicable as time goes on.
Cold Chain Storage for Vaccine Efficacy
Increased attention is being paid to cold storage in health facilities , due to the initial mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 requiring ultralow temperatures to maintain effectiveness. Health facilities hoping to distribute these particular vaccines need not just freezers capable of maintaining such low temperatures, but equipment capable of monitoring freezer temperatures to ensure compliance with required conditions.
Your 2021 Healthcare Facility Partner
Primex is prepared to help clients drive forward and tackle these challenges and emerging trends. The OneVue Sense line of products can monitor room temperature and indoor environmental quality conditions, along with the temperature of cold chain assets, such as mRNA-based vaccines. OneVue Notify InfoBoard displays exhibit synchronized time throughout a networked facility and can share custom messages to inform people of safety, public health, weather, or other alerts. And with OneVue Monitor, health facilities managers can track comprehensive monitoring data and generate reports to demonstrate compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
The upcoming year, and those to come, will feature many changes to hospital facility management. Still, the Primex suite of products remains capable of supporting these growing trends and others to come. Reach out today to learn more.