One of the Oldest Binding Contracts in History
Step into a doctor’s office and one might encounter, among various pamphlets, privacy policies, and picture frames, the words of Hippocrates, an ancient Greek highly regarded in the early days of medicine (Shiel). How does that relate to healthcare facility management?
In those words posted, onlookers observe the promise to uphold the care and privacy of patients as well as help to teach future generations of physicians (Schmerling).
In an article for Medicine.net, medical author William M. Shiel describes the hippocratic oath as, “One of the oldest binding contracts in history.” This oath, in both its classic and modern translations, is still highly respected in the field, though not every school of medicine requires it to be recited (Shiel; Schmerling).
Healthcare Facility Management’s Role in Standard of Care
In order to uphold the standard of care for patients, doctors and leaders of health systems must rely on teams and networks of individuals to help manage the various factors that can influence patient care. This includes not only the treatment options but also includes the equipment and facilities themselves.
An article written for Hepacart breaks down the main responsibilities of managers, though the writers provide the caveat that the list could even go on from there.
These areas include but are not limited to the needs of the facility both long-term and day-to-day, finances, code compliance, and maintaining various certifications (Hepacart).
According to the article, managers not only must organize the larger renovation and expansion projects, but they may also be tasked with overseeing the ordering and up-keep of supplies or equipment (Hepacard; SelectHub).
This is a tedious task of anticipating needs to avoid supply shortages or equipment failures (SelectHub).
The Facility Management Challenge of Large-Scale Healthcare Acquisitions
Interestingly, an article written for Facility Executive also describes a newer trend in the healthcare field is frequent and often-times large-scale mergers and acquisitions of various healthcare facilities as a part of its ever evolving identity.
Writers for Facility Executive explain that another relatively newer trend in the medical field involves fewer large hospitals and more smaller facilities capable of interacting within individual communities to prevent more severe illnesses down the road.
This may mean smaller buildings themselves, but it could also mean greater spans between individual facilities managed by a single manager. Again, the goals of these managers include not only helping to ensure the safety and comfort of individuals treated within a building but also that this can be accomplished in an efficient and budget-friendly manner.
Managing Healthcare Facilities Spread Across A Geographic Area
Hepacart’s article goes on to emphasize that individual facility managers are not “rolling up their sleeves” to complete every single project and duty on hand. Instead another added layer to over-seeing the structures of hospital systems is delegating and managing the people who are completing those tasks.
In scenarios with hospital campuses or facilities spread over various regions, organization and clear communication become vital.
Additionally, managers must also communicate with the individuals who are working within the facilities to understand their needs and goals as well as to ensure that the scheduling of projects and routine maintenance does not interfere with the day-to-day functions of the healthcare facilities.
Storing and Sharing Facility Information in Healthcare
When considering the enormous responsibility placed on managers, many have begun to explore innovative means for storing and sharing information related to facilities. eFacility have become a vital asset to the evolving healthcare field that involves consolidation of some facilities and expansion in other areas.
Technological tools such as eFacility can assist not only ensuring that environments are treatment and healing focused, but adequate management can assist with preventing infections acquired during a hospital stay.
According to one Facility Executive article, the CDC cites “physical environment” as one of the leading reasons for “Hospital Acquired Illnesses (HAI).”
Digital Tools to Complete More Work Orders In the Facilities
Healthcare is a field where the cost of mistakes not only affects the cost but more importantly it is also one where errors or slight variables can drastically affect the livelihood of an individual. With so much at stake, including liability, healthcare facility managers of facilities can easily incorporate digital tools to accomplish the overwhelming number of tasks necessary for the appropriate management of the spaces in which healing takes place for so many (SelectHub).
Writers for SelectHub also emphasize that because hospitals and other healthcare facilities are regulated so heavily, the spaces themselves must be very carefully managed to ensure that they are approved to function at their full capacity.
According to an article for HFM Magazine, a simple and streamlined system is essential to ensure that individuals are able to access information easily and quickly (Lorenzi). The article also emphasizes that if those who will primarily be assigned to use the software are not properly trained and supported, or if the system itself is too complicated, it will not get used.
Healthcare Facility Management
Ultimately, in the fast-paced environment of healthcare facility management in the medical field, where time is of the essence and patient well-being is the focus, managers and those working in the facilities can do everything in their power to support the motto of “first do no harm.”
eFacility provides software for facility managers that need to capture and share institutional knowledge.
eFacility’s patented technology allows technicians to access the documentation necessary to complete a work order from a mobile device.
Geo-based documentation delivery ensures the technician can quickly access the important documentation for only the area of the facility in which they’re standing.
Cosgrove, A. (2018, June 20). Five Trends In Healthcare Affecting Facility Management. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://facilityexecutive.com/2018/06/five-trends-healthcare-affecting-facility-management/.
Hepacart. (2018, March 9). 5 Responsibilities of Healthcare Facilities Managers. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://www.hepacart.com/blog/5-responsibilities-of-healthcare-facilities-managers.
Lorenzi, N. (2018, July 6). CMMS software goes beyond record keeping. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/3415-cmms-software-goes-beyond-record-keeping.
SelectHub. (n.d.). CMMS Healthcare Software: Top Solutions for Health Care & Hospitals. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://selecthub.com/cmms/leading-healthcare-cmms-solutions/.
Shiel, W. C.. (2018, March 6). Medical Definition of Hippocratic Oath. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20909.
Shiel, W. C. (2018, December 11). Definition of Hippocrates. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20908.
Shmerling, R. H. (2015, October 14). First, do no harm. Retrieved December 3, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/first-do-no-harm-201510138421.