One of the major challenges facing hospitals and health care networks today is expanding their roles of providing help, hope and healing in significantly new ways as they continue to be cornerstones of their various communities.

To assist in this endeavor, many are turning to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim initiative — improving the patient experience of care, bettering the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

While much high-level planning is required by hospital and health system administrators to fully embrace and apply these goals to their overall operations, health facilities professionals have the ability to help their organizations meet these objectives on a narrower level.

Each month, for instance, we touch on these Triple Aim goals as they apply to environmental services managers who borrow ideas from the hospitality industry to improve patient comfort, or design professionals who plan off-site facilities to bring care into a community, or facilities engineers who take advantage of recommissioning strategies to reduce operating costs.

Taken further, this month’s cover story on the Internet of Things is replete with examples of technologies that can be used throughout health care enterprises to hit Triple Aim targets. They include:

• Tracking technology that allows one hospital to increase the time nurses spend on direct patient care and decrease the time they spend gathering supplies and equipment;

• A home monitoring system that enables another organization to detect small health anomalies among their patients out in the community before they become major issues inside the hospital;

• Smart building systems that help yet another hospital’s facilities department to maintain twice as much square footage with half the full-time equivalent employees than it had 15 years ago.

Hospitals and health networks are attempting to redefine themselves and health facilities professionals can aid their organizations by demonstrating innovation in their regular tasks as well as helping them to adopt new technologies. To learn more about the latter possibilities, please turn to Page 14.