Hospital Facilities Team Improves Collaboration with Digital O&Ms

April 11, 2014

Imagine being able to access facilities information from your tablet PC, iPad or computer, without having to search through stacks of old documents. Thanks to forward-thinking contractors and new collaboration technology, more and more facilities teams are making digital O&Ms a reality. 


Imagine being able to access facilities information from your tablet PC, iPad or computer, without having to search through stacks of old documents. Thanks to forward-thinking contractors and new collaboration technology, more and more facilities teams are making digital O&Ms a reality. For example, during construction of a new 40,000 sf Emergency Room and acute care addition at Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar, CA, McCarthy Building Companies decided to take a hard look at the way they had been creating their Operation and Maintenance manuals (O&Ms). Until that point, McCarthy had been providing owners with traditional, printed O&Ms. Yet even though everyone on the team had access to the documents necessary for maintaining their new building, facilities departments still experienced the common issues of working with printed copies, including delayed access to information, misplaced drawings, and difficulties documenting changes over time.


After some thought, McCarthy concluded that many, if not all, of these issues could be solved by using digital O&Ms saved as PDFs. PDFs can be easily accessed by anyone with a computer and a free PDF viewer. However, digital O&Ms can also hold much greater amounts of information, which may be too much for the end user to comprehend. McCarthy realized that their electronic manuals would need to be organized properly to provide users with the ability to easily locate the information they need.

Creating Digital O&Ms With Bluebeam Revu

The key to McCarthy's success was finding a technology solution that would allow them to create a PDF manual that was easy to navigate. After evaluating different options, McCarthy concluded that the advanced hyperlinking features in Bluebeam Revu made it the perfect solution for their needs. Revu is a PDF-based markup and collaboration solution that enables technical professionals to communicate faster and more efficiently. Leveraging the PDF file format and simulating traditional pen and paper workflows digitally, Revu allows users to review and collaborate with project partners using industry-standard customizable markups and 2D and 3D PDF creation.

Among the application's advanced features is a robust hyperlinking tool that enables users to add hyperlinks to essential project documents like drawings, as-builts, maintenance manuals, warranties, submittals and RFIs, and easily navigate through them. Even files that are only accessible online, such as product data sheets, can be accessed via the WebTab, which lets users access the Internet from within Revu. Together, Revu's hyperlinking functionality and viewing options provided McCarthy with the technology needed to make digital O&Ms a reality.

As McCarthy defined the information the end user would need and the best way for them to access it, they began linking together entire sets of plans using Revu. The next step was to provide links to relative maintenance information directly on the plans and as-builts. McCarthy used Revu to add links in the PDF that opened files containing all of the maintenance information they would need, and created a table of contents so the user could easily pinpoint and access each page.

With the help of Bluebeam Revu, drilling into the electronic O&M can be done by clicking the area, an icon or selecting an item within a table of contents.


A significant amount of time was saved compiling the files using Revu's hyperlinking capabilities. McCarthy, the facility staff and Owner all saw the following benefits from the new electronic O&M manual format:

  • Increased information sharing
  • Reduced time spent looking for information
  • O&M data quickly accessible when needed
  • Facilities teams can quickly easily update manuals using Revu to annotate files or add, delete or replace updated pages
  • For documents already in electronic form, there is no need to print hard copies and organize into binders
  • Better collaboration between facility departments
  • Information needed for maintenance calls can be pulled up from any location
  • The manuals are mobile when used on a laptop, tablet PC or iPad

To learn more about how to take your projects digital with Bluebeam Revu and download a 30-day trial, visit

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