Services in healthcare
can be divided into two parts: core services and support services. The core
services include medical services, care and cure services, while support
services include corporate and facility management services. The provision of
FM and other non-core activities to healthcare organisations has been growing
gradually, as has its impact on the quality and effectiveness of healthcare
services. Gelnay (2002) considers healthcare FM as one of the key elements for
the successful delivery of healthcare services. Nevertheless, he noted that in
most of the hospitals examined, the facilities manager was not yet involved in
the briefing, designing and cost analysing stages. Payne and Rees (1999)
proposed that healthcare FM should be a flexible theme because, in general,
organisations differ from one another, and this is also true for healthcare
organisations. Yet, researchers also stressed that facilities managers must be
involved in the decision-making processes and that this is especially important
in healthcare facilities.
requirement to reduce expenditure on “non-core” activities, along with
building’s owners’ expectations for improved performance, are the main dilemmas
with which a facility manager deals on a regular basis (Lavy and Shohet, 2007).
Five processes have led the area of facility management (FM) to become one of
the most important for business success: (1) increased construction costs, particularly
in the public sector; (2) greater recognition of the effects of space upon
productivity; (3) increased performance requirements; (4) contemporary
bureaucratic and statutory restrictions that decelerate start up of new
construction projects; and (5) performance of high-rise buildings that are
highly dependent on maintenance (Shohet, 2005).
The product of facility
management is the delivery of services (European Committee for Standardization,
2005) in response to needs (Gabler 2000). Taking the definition of quality
developed by the European Committee for Standardization (2005), it becomes
clear that the product is the service delivered to customers by the service
provider. ‘As the aim of facility management is to provide optimal support to
the core business, the requirements of the facility management are defined by
the primary processes it supports’ (Kunibert Lennerts, 2009).
A healthcare facility is one
of the most complicated and difficult types of facilities to manage, maintain
the rapid advancement of information and communication technologies,
particularly the Internet and Web-based technologies during the past two
decades, various system integration and collaboration technologies have been
developed and deployed to architecture, engineering, construction, and facility
management (AEC/FM). After many years of R&D, the AEC/FM industry has now
started to embrace and adopt software systems that support and promote the
concepts of integration and interoperability (Shen, Hao, Xue, 2012, p. 41).
management has traditionally been regarded in the old-fashioned sense of
cleaning, repairs and maintenance (Atkin and Brooks, 2000; Regterschot, 1990)
while FM responsibilities were defined as “buying, selling, developing and
adapting stock to meet wants of owners regarding finance, space, location,
quality and so on” (O’Sullivan and Powell, 1990). Nowadays, facility management
is known as “an integrated approach to maintaining, improving and adapting the
buildings of an organization in order to create an environment that strongly
supports the primary objectives of that organization,” as well as to achieve a
balanced, high performing organization (Barrett, 2000).
and Granath (2004) conducted a study in Sweden on the effect of “Horizontal
Integrated Care” (HIC deals with ways that care is delivered to patients) on
facility management; Payne and Rees (1999) discuss the importance of an
integrated facility management system in hospitals; Procter and Brown (1997)
present a case study in which an information support system was implemented in
a hospital in the UK; and Waring and Wainwright (2002) discuss the significance
of implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the
National Health Service (NHS) facility management system.
research has been done in the area of healthcare facility management. Gallagher
(1998), for instance, defines the following six issues as encouraging
successful implementation of healthcare FM: strategic planning, customer care,
market testing, benchmarking, environmental management, and staff development.
Amaratunga et al., (2002) define the following attributes as key processes for
successful implementation of FM: service requirements management, service
planning, service performance monitoring, supplier and contractor management,
health and safety processes, risk management, and service coordination. Shohet
and Lavy (2004b) identify the following five core domains (the “pentagon”)
within the area of healthcare facility management: maintenance management,
performance management, risk management, supply services management, and
development. Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is treated as an
integrator among all five domains. Shohet and Lavy (2007) develop a strategic
integrated facility management model composed of the five core domains of
healthcare FM defined above as the pentagon of healthcare FM.
Healthcare facilities management core domains (Shohet and Lavy, 2004, pp 217)
Building Automation Systems
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems
(Computerized Maintenance Management System) software would traditionally
be used by hospitals to manage and schedule reactive and planned preventative
maintenance tasks, ensuring that work requests and repairs took place in a
timely and economical manner. However, many establishments are now pushing the
boundaries and unleashing the potential of their systems, transforming the
performance of staff and improving the level of patient care across the
organization as a whole.
is a fully mobile and web enabled suite of CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities
Management) / IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) tools developed
Service Works Global which optimizes control of assets and resources, improves
service delivery and delivers a rapid return on investment. Powerful reporting
capabilities provide essential insight into performance to support informed
Facilities streamlines the management of a wide range of asset, building and
service activities to optimize facilities efficiency, improve service delivery
and reduce operational costs. This CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management
System) software is a fully integrated suite of web-based management software
tools, providing a centralized view of facilities and maintenance activities
across your entire property portfolio. Comprehensive reporting delivers
essential insight into critical performance information to support strategic
Facilities is available as a modular software application or may be integrated
with other QFM products to deliver a wider IWMS solution.
with other systems
organisations like hospitals can benefit greatly from integrating their FM
software with other applications, bringing huge efficiencies and cost savings.
When systems are disparate, reporting can be very time consuming, potentially
resulting in errors because data is not centralized. By linking them with FM
software, they can work together, tasks can be automated and actions across the
organization can be more easily prioritized.
of Australia’s newest, largest and most technologically advanced hospitals is
due to open soon. In it, Service Works’ QFM facilities management software has
been integrated with other specialized applications to create a best-of-breed
technology solution which can be easily managed through their FM help desk.
integrated with FM software include:
Call – a self-service system in rooms where patients can request services
like cleaning, which is then scheduled using QFM
Management system – to enable the service provider to meet food safety
requirements and takes meal orders from patients. The connection to QFM
software ensures that the right meal is delivered to the right location in
administration – patient information integrated with QFM allows requests
to be linked to patient moves such as cleaning, porterage and equipment
the help desk is able to co-ordinate with many other systems, time spent by
clinical staff on reporting and follow up of requests will be eliminated,
allowing them to maximize their time spent providing patient care.
Efficiency through ease of use
In addition to software used by the FM team,
hospitals are also increasingly using self-service functionality. For example,
using QFM, any visitor can use a designated public computer or kiosk to request
a job, without needing to log in or even be familiar with the location in order
to describe where the problem is. Service Works’ QFM software has a simple
interface, and can be configured to make the user journey as easy as possible –
including pre-populated lists of services, automatic addition of the kiosk’s
location to the job request, and the user can choose to receive a confirmation
email and update when the job is completed. This feature is also an easy way
for members of the public to report lost property, which is then managed within
the system. Colour coding can be used to identify how long the lost property
has been with the hospital for, and can manage details of those who have
reported lost possessions that have not yet been handed, ready to be flagged
when a match is found. By providing simple screens in busy areas, issues like
spillages, broken equipment and exhausted supplies are more likely to be
reported and can be more easily addressed by the hospital, increasing the
efficiency of their FM services.
Service Works’ hospital client in Canada had a challenging case for its FM
team, which was accordingly met with an innovative approach. With 20% of the
new hospital’s patient rooms being specialist infection control rooms, exacting
standards had to be met in line with SLAs in order to meet the contract and
KPIs for each cleaning request; all of which need to be completed to the right
timescale and priority.
Works Global provides a detailed explanation of the service applications of
QFM provides a range of integrated tools to manage,
maintain and build a comprehensive Health & Safety strategy. It allows you
to identify and evaluate potential hazards, record the results and act upon
risk assessments. The software automates the management of test and
inspections, creating job sheets and recording results to ensure complete
The help desk rapidly captures and prioritizes
reactive maintenance requests, prioritizes tasks and identifies unresolved
calls, which enables rapid job resolution. A web-based self-service portal
enables building occupants to log jobs, report breakdowns and request services
24/7, and track jobs from notification through to completion. Contractors can
log activities, notify progress and close tasks once completed, to deliver a
proactive help desk, enterprise-wide visibility of FM performance and long-term
. QFM Planned Maintenance Software enables you to
intelligently schedule planned maintenance activities in order to increase
asset performance, ensure regulatory compliance and secure
sustainability and expenditure savings. The software provides all the
tools you need to manage asset inspections, equipment servicing and health and
safety audits, providing visibility of critical dates, deadlines and costs.
QFM provides a powerful set of user-definable
reporting tools for real-time performance monitoring, trend analysis and KPI /
SLA management. The software comes equipped with a comprehensive array of
dashboard, text based and graphical reports to ensure that vital business information
is readily available to key staff. QFM transforms data into meaningful and
actionable information to support strategic decision making and makes a
positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.
QFM Resource Management allows you to intelligently
manage personnel for reactive maintenance and planned preventative
maintenance (PPM) tasks. An intuitive graphical interface allows you to
view open activities and assign resource based upon work schedules and
operatives’ skills. Jobs can be easily reallocated should an employee be
absent, in order to maintain high quality service levels for your customers.
Integration with mobile technology enables operatives and outsourced
contractors to receive, action and sign-off jobs remotely and in real-time, allowing
them to stay in control of their workload.
Satisfaction Surveys provides you with you valuable insight into how clients
view your service delivery standards. The software captures and measures
customer feedback following job completion via user-friendly web-based survey
tools. It allows you to measure the quality of your services and in turn
improve performance, to meet clients’ expectations and ensure business
Ensuring that service delivery levels meet
contractual obligations is essential to ensure client retention and increase
revenue. QFM SLA and Contract Management software centralizes the management of
your service contracts, allowing you to monitor service delivery levels in
real-time, to improve contractor performance, optimize service quality and
increase cost efficiency.
QFM Service Management allows you to flexibly
record, monitor and schedule service activities against pre-defined SLAs. It
streamlines the management of quality inspections, risk assessments and
condition monitoring for both hard and soft services, to optimize service
delivery, ensure customer satisfaction and maximize growth and revenue.
adapt to new requirements and become more efficient, existing processes need to
be examined facility-wide. The need to align on best practices and to
demonstrate value is felt even more strongly in the case of mergers and scaling
up of healthcare facilities.
FM software can help drive standardization, and generate data to gain better
insights into performance.
healthcare organizations, FMs should keep their focus on best processes that
are aligned with regulatory and accreditation requirements.
technology and utilization data
and affordable technologies for smart buildings enable FMs to improve
operations, driven by the realities on the ground.
wayfinding on campus to helping visitors find free parking space to driving
usage-based cleaning by putting door clickers on bathrooms, many smart
scenarios can be implemented in healthcare settings.
take a look at some examples.
sensors help improve patient comfort through control of temperature, humidity,
and air quality (CO2 levels). They can also improve food safety, by monitoring
cold storage and hygiene for food preparation. Sensors will send out early
alerts, enabling you to detect and correct problems before things turn
potentially dangerous. By ensuring that food stays at the right temperatures,
healthcare organizations can not only improve food quality and reduce the risk
of unwanted bacterial growth, they can also extend the shelf life of food and
reduce the amount of waste.
can be deployed to monitor asset condition and allow timely interventions,
before equipment fails. Indoor positioning supports FMs to keep tabs on the
location of assets and people traffic.
meters measure energy consumption at a granular level and can send alerts when
anomalies occur. Over time, the data provides insight into energy consumption
patterns. It helps raise awareness and make healthcare organizations more
also allow to monitor perception through micro polling: FMs can for example
install smiley boxes in restrooms so that staff and visitors are encouraged to
give instant feedback on how satisfied they are with the area’s cleanliness and
big data can further be integrated with traditional data from facilities
management software and other data sources, offering great potential for
reducing costs and improving the user experience.
Kunibert Lennerts, 2009.
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