The editors of Health Facilities Management (HFM) dedicate much of the magazine’s coverage to technology as it relates to hospital design, construction and operations. In fact, we consider it one of our core missions to cover how technology and process innovations can be used to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the health care built environment.
Our award-winning Trends in Health Care special issue titled “Technology Takes Off,” published in December 2014, is among the most noteworthy examples of these efforts. More recent examples have been articles and blogs touching on everything from advanced building automation systems and maintenance programs, to high-tech cleaning and disinfection devices, to emerging design and construction tools.
But what is often most interesting about the adoption of a new technology is the added and often unintended benefits that can arise when it is applied to the modern health care organization.
In this month’s Marketplace article, for instance, you’ll want to read about a vendor whose HVAC system for operating rooms not only improves energy performance, but also simplifies the documentation of surgical events.
Similarly, in conversations with a different vendor, I recently heard that the accuracy of building information modeling systems will not only help health care organizations build and operate their facilities with greater efficiency, but also help them to streamline Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement submittals.
Finally, in yet another instance of added benefits, I’ve lately learned about a hospital that's using its existing real-time locating system that tracks patients and equipment to analyze the resulting data on patient and staff flow and more accurately plan a new building.
These technologies are all relatively well-established applications within the wheelhouse of many health facilities professionals. However, their relevance has been expanded to include areas of particular interest to executive and clinical professionals as well.
As facilities professionals seek to expand their roles and continue to help their facilities provide safe and efficient care, they have at their hands many of the enabling technologies that allow them to raise their professional profiles even higher — and that’s one more added benefit.