Three Reasons Your Hospital Needs an Intelligent Infrastructure

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Your hospital needs to get smarter – specifically in terms of its infrastructure. Why? Because there’s increased demand on healthcare facilities, driven by demographics. World population will grow 33% over the next 35 years, moving from 7.2 billion today to 9.6 billion in 2050. The number of people over 60, the ones who typically need more health services, is growing even faster. That population will swell worldwide from 0.8 billion today to over 2 billion in 2050. And if you don’t start to catch up now, it will be difficult to deliver what the world is expecting.

At the same time, it’s not as if hospitals are seeing their budgets grow as rapidly. Indeed about a third of U.S. hospitals lose money, according to the American Hospital Association.

These challenges may be something you already know and confront daily. What you may not be as familiar with is a solution: a digital, intelligent infrastructure, such as StruxureWare for Healthcare.

Now, just what is this digital, intelligent infrastructure? It’s more than a traditional building management system, a BMS. A digital hospital joins together heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and security controls – the things a BMS manages – with enterprise management, data centers, operating theaters, medical wards and other hospital and clinical systems.

The goal is to improve energy efficiency, staff productivity, security, and patient outcomes. It’s a new concept that is catching on because it offers a way to maximize what a hospital can achieve, a way to do more for less.

With a traditional infrastructure, each of these systems would act alone. At best, they might have people functioning as a bridge by, for instance, manually doing inventory and asset management.

Making a facility’s infrastructure smarter brings with it benefits. Here are the first 3. I’ll cover 5 more in my next blog in this series.

  1. A digital, intelligent infrastructure can help solve financial challenges. One way to do this is through energy management. Hospitals are energy intensive, with consumption 2.5 times that of the average for other large commercial buildings on a quare foot basis, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The trend line is up, with about a 25% increase in relative energy usage per square foot from 2003 to 2007, the last year for which data is available.

So, energy management can pay dividends. Intelligent infrastructure makes it possible to see, measure and manage energy usage. Those capabilities can reduce waste and optimize energy consumption, resulting in up to a 30% savings.

  1. A digital hospital can maintain patient safety and quality of care. That’s important to both patients and hospitals. About 4% of patients pick up an infection related to hospital care, which can be devastating. Hospital acquired infections, or HAIs, also don’t do hospitals any favors, since it costs an average of $45,000 per patient to treat them.

With intelligent infrastructure, software monitors power to maintain 99.9 percent availability, tests backup power systems, and optimizes environmental conditions to reduce the threat of HAIs.

  1. A digital, intelligent hospital ensures compliance with regulatory standards and energy mandates. Failure to do so can lead to poor quality of care, safety issues, and substantial fines – a hit even if nothing bad happens.

So, there it is: 3big benefits that come from adding intelligence to infrastructure. Look for 5 more in my next post.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a digital, intelligent hospital? Check out this video.

How would a smarter infrastructure benefit your hospital? Let us know in the comments below!

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