Among many challenges, individuals working in healthcare often face tight budgets and limited resources. This is frequently combined with a call to find ways to cut the continuous rise in the cost of patient care.
Met with these barriers, hospital administrators must decrease costs while maintaining or improving a patient’s experience (Facility Executive).
Facility managers often play key roles in adhering to financial constraints to allow providers to continue to meet the needs of those who inhabit the facilities.
These facility managers’ knowledge, relationships, creativity, and resourcefulness all aid in ensuring a reasonable cost and a positive patient care experience.
Consolidate Systems to Better Inform Decisions
Typical facility costs include external maintenance, electrical systems, mechanical systems (ie. HVAC, chillers, boilers), building maintenance, interior signage, roads, and sidewalks, and more.
While factoring in these costs, managers must also ensure that each project continuously complies with up-to-date codes. Managing these orders is complex; coordinating how to service them can grow increasingly harder without adequate systems.
Specifically, those who oversee facilities often need a way to document each service call so that subsequent technicians can use this information. If information is stored in multiple locations or tasks are completed by different contractors, confusion can result.
Consolidating systems can ensure seamless communication of the succession of services to increase efficiency and lower cost. Recently, Yale New Haven Health earned an ASHE award for distinguished healthcare facility management (Martin).
An article written for Health Facilities Management Magazine about the achievement acknowledges the challenges that many facility managers face regarding efficiency (Martin).
Some of the most beneficial changes that Yale New Haven Health made were related to its goal of streamlining system processes and completing a digital upgrade that allowed data to drive decisions (Martin).
In consolidating and digitizing systems, hospitals can streamline work orders and provide comprehensive data for making decisions to decrease cost.
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Streamline Communication to Increase Flexibility
Adhering to a budget alone does not guarantee a health system will thrive. Much of its success relies on its ability to function as a pliable network of providers, space, and resources. According to a 2021 article written for FMJ by Bryan Connor and Brian Baker, the Covid-19 pandemic has truly tested and continues to test the flexibility of hospitals.
As cases surge, hospital administrators and facility managers need to convert areas from patient care spaces to Covid-19 designated areas (Connor & Baker).
In their article, Connor and Baker also touched on the consideration for the HVAC systems needed to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.
To tackle this daunting task, managers and administrators must complete countless work orders while also keeping their eye on the cost. Delays in work order communication or completion could prove detrimental in many ways including increasing price-tags and slowing care.
In such a high-stakes and fast-paced setting, facility managers must clearly communicate to quickly make a multitude of changes. Many hospitals have relied on digital tools to communicate efficiently in real-time.
Maintain Records of Valuable Facility Knowledge
When witnessing hospitals that have seamlessly transitioned in any circumstance whether due to progress or a pandemic, it is clear that intimate knowledge of facilities and close relationships with contractors built through years of experience also plays an important part. In recent times, hospitals have had to take greater precautions in screening workers for symptoms of Covid-19 which sometimes results in individuals having to quarantine.
Additionally, when employees retire or leave a position, they often take with them much of the institutional knowledge that they have gained.
If workers possessing crucial project or facility knowledge leave a position or cannot come to work, projects can often become delayed.
In an era that demands innovation to sustain cost and efficiency, managers can incorporate digital applications to keep facility records and document expert technician processes to ensure that routine maintenance continues and projects meet deadlines.
Utilize Digital Resources
Easy to use software applications such as efacility can be seamlessly incorporated into a facility management plan to meet the many and ever-changing needs and goals of a facility.
Efacility enables an entire team to have access to all of the facility information from anywhere no matter who is present.
In incorporating this application, users gain visibility and control on where and how to complete work orders so that they respond faster in real-time to meet anticipated and unexpected needs; consequently, this increased efficiency and productivity decreases costs.
Allowing efacility to lift some of the weight of communication and store the detailed knowledge of facilities, leaves more room for administrators and managers to innovate in any given situation.
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If you need to consolidate your systems to decrease facility maintenance costs in your healthcare facility, submit the form below.
Baker, Brian & Bryan Connor. (2021). Healthcare FM Resiliency. FMJ – IFMA. January/February. from http://fmj.ifma.org/publication/?m=30261&i=689095&view=articleBrowser&article_id=3852276
Facility Executive. (2018, June 20). Five Trends in Healthcare Affecting Facility Management. Retrieved February 17, 2021, from https://facilityexecutive.com/2018/06/five-trends-healthcare-affecting-facility-management/
Martin, Erik. (2021, February 10). Digital transformation drives efficiency upgrade. Retrieved February 17, 2021, from https://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/4110-digital-transformation-drives-efficiency-upgrade