In the same vein that clinicians track patients’ vital signs, hospital facilities managers monitor essential data from sophisticated sensors placed within equipment. An FM team can quickly make snap judgments about building operations at any given time after interpreting the data to make a decision to stabilize the situation in patient rooms.
It's not just facilities management when dealing with healthcare facilities, it's health management. This was echoed in the report from professional services firm JLL where it listed five different ways hospitals are applying advanced data analytics to improve operational performance of buildings, property and equipment.
"Hospitals are using data to identify and track high-risk and at-risk patients. But few have a technology platform to help them manage the part of their business that represents 40% or more of the assets on their balance sheets," says Pete Bulgarelli, Executive Managing Director, JLL Corporate Solutions. "If hospitals applied a population health management model to their real estate and facilities, they would reduce the risk associated with aging equipment and infrastructure and keep them performing at a high level, avoiding inefficiencies and potential issues later."
The new report from JLL highlights five areas influenced by FM that are prime for applying data analytics and increased attention:
- Patient Safety and Satisfaction — Among other things, technology platforms can track routine maintenance work orders through a mobile device, allowing for requests to be easily made and then prioritized, assigned, executed and tracked. Analyzing the data can also uncover recurring problems with people, processes or equipment, creating opportunities for sustainable performance improvement and ultimately leading to a more efficient and safe environment for patients and families.
- Life Safety — Progressive hospitals and health systems have begun using an automated approach to regulatory compliance, using data analytics to understand how to use resources more effectively. For example, analytics show the percentage of failed life safety elements to better understand the condition of buildings and how they are maintained. Automating and proactively addressing life safety code and environment of care regulations and standards not only improves compliance, it enhances patient, staff and visitor safety and ensures facilities are ready for any regulatory review.
- Environmental Equipment — Rather than doing manual spot checks to see how well equipment is operating, sophisticated sensors can continuously track performance and transmit that data in real time. These sensors can also generate data that allows users to anticipate when that equipment might fail and take action to mitigate the risk of failure.
- Medical Equipment — The use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags helps maintain an accurate inventory of medical equipment and its location, helping to avoid having the right equipment in the wrong room. To take it even farther, “smart” medical equipment, which can talk directly to other equipment without human intervention via the Internet of Things, can transmit real-time location and performance data to the technology platform.
- Space Utilization — Why do some rooms sit empty while others are cramped with equipment or supplies? Why are some diagnostic testing areas located close to patient rooms and others are not? Use of a particular space can sometimes be a subjective decision, but with data analytics, an FM can pull up a color-coded floor map and select a filter to view space by a number of variables. This information paves the way for making objective, informed decisions on the most appropriate, effective and efficient use of space.
For more insight, please read How to Use Big Data to Improve Healthcare Facilities Management, available on the JLL Web site.