Performance expectations for the built health care environment have never been greater.

Competition for capital is intense; and should a facility project win that competition, it generally does so with a strict and demanding pro forma for patient outcomes, revenue generation, cost reduction or other clearly identified metrics.

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From construction to operations

Tolerance for allowing system issues at initial occupancy to negatively impact the business case is practically zero. And while project results used to be measured at ribbon-cutting with respect to adherence to schedule, budget, change orders or other metrics tallied only at the end of construction, project results and success are now more often measured after the first several months or years of operations. These metrics generally are much more associated with patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and overall cost of facility operation.

Part of the performance metric is connected with speed-to-market challenges. Many projects tarry in the planning and project vetting/approval process and by the time they are released for execution, pressure already has built for as-soon-as-possible delivery. The push for project delivery often squeezes the period of time between contractor turnover and live patient activity.

Time available for general orientation, familiarization and understanding of system operations and sequences under live load conditions is limited, if available at all. Few institutions can afford an extended shake-down period, incurring costs of operations while generating no revenue.

The perspective on the value of the transition period must change — it can no longer be considered dispensable, but critical to facility success.