The December issue of Health Facilities Management (HFM) magazine showcases the 2013 Trends in Healthcare – primarily the expanding role of community-based care. More and more off-campus facilities are providing care closer to home, as well as more cost-effective specialized care. Yet the requirements for maintaining regulatory compliance remain the same whether the care facility is the main hospital or an affiliated, freestanding clinic located miles away.
What’s more, operational budgets rarely keep pace with the system expansion and the greater square footage the facilities team must manage. With that in mind, HFM magazine also examines how growing health systems are “tying it all together” with a robust, integrated facilities, biomedical and information technology (IT) infrastructure. The importance of implementing solutions that can monitor and document compliance data of several facility systems at once cannot be overemphasized, not just for efficiency’s sake, but also to benchmark performance across all locations.
An integrated IT solution that provides information about the clinic environment – temperature, humidity, refrigeration temperatures, emergency light status and more – without requiring a physical check by facility personnel is key to operational efficiency and maintaining compliance. Data is gathered onto a centralized repository and displayed on a single, customizable dashboard, giving managers 24/7, at-a-glance visibility of the status of every building in the system. Emerging issues in off-campus facilities can be identified and the appropriate maintenance team dispatched before the issues become big problems, saving time and money, and minimizing downtime of essential operations.
While facility managers in expanding health systems are acutely aware of the need for more efficient processes to manage off-campus buildings, the truth is, all healthcare facility managers face the same pressure to cut operational costs. With a single platform approach to facility monitoring and documentation requirements, facility managers can consolidate disparate, disorganized and error-prone facility management and compliance processes and maximize operational efficiency and productivity.