According to the OECD’s ‘Health at a Glance 2019’, health spending will reach 10.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2030 across OECD countries, up from 8.8 percent in 2018. In the US, the share of healthcare costs could even grow to 20 percent of GDP, says Yves Renaud, who is in charge of the EcoXpert™ healthcare specialization program.
For healthcare managers, authorities, and other healthcare system stakeholders, the challenge is to find an optimum between spending priorities and the well being of patients and healthcare workers.
Concerns regarding sustainable healthcare systems increase with factors such as growing and aging populations. Yves Renaud points is out during an interview discussing the healthcare facility EcoXpert community in which he looks at the EcoXpert Healthcare specialization and why it’s so interesting for our partners and their customers.
Yves is joined by Chris Roberts, the Global Solution Architect for the Schneider Electric Healthcare segment, who previously wrote a guest blog about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT and the importance of collaboration in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Summarizing the key takeaways, Estelle Schweizer described the essential role of EcoXperts in the scope of collaboration as follows: ‘EcoXperts who execute and optimize healthcare facility projects are essential partners in this collaborative picture and even critical in terms of agile solution deployment for smarter patient-centric healthcare.’
Chris and Yves take a deeper dive into how our EcoXpert partners specialized in Healthcare can help address the multiple challenges in healthcare, meet changing expectations and what benefits the specialization offers to system integrators. Moreover, they share important evolutions that will soon enrich the expertise of our partners and the program.
How (over 100) healthcare facility EcoXperts help build modern hospitals and tackle healthcare challenges
With the challenges and opportunities in healthcare across the globe, it’s probably not a surprise that the Healthcare specialization of our EcoXpert Partner Program is doing very well. Since 2019, the community of trained and certified healthcare facility experts counts over one hundred partners.
Although different countries and regions encounter different challenges and see other healthcare construction and healthcare innovation trends, one thing that all Healthcare-specialized EcoXperts share is their level of expertise.
It’s already one reason to join the program, on top of the evolving and growing market. As Yves Renaud puts it, healthcare projects are complex and the knowledge and competencies of Healthcare-specialized EcoXperts make it easier for them to differentiate themselves even more through multi-badging opportunities, becoming certified and/or specialized in multiple badges and specializations.
Now, how can Healthcare EcoXperts help address the challenges of hospitals and healthcare facilities?
Yves sums up some of the main challenges in healthcare:
- The mentioned growth and aging of populations, whereby hospitals need to treat more patients. Some countries are already highly affected by this phenomenon and shift their care models. It is becoming a global challenge rapidly though.
- The reduction of costs, which are generally rising, partially related to the previous challenge and to more expensive treatments. Reducing – or at least maintaining – the cost is a key priority for many hospitals who often lose money or operate with narrow margins.
- The improvement of the quality of care and patient satisfaction. The latter has become essential as a result of changing behavior and expectations. In some countries, there is already an immediate or indirect link between patient experience and financial impact.
- Optimizing energy usage, since hospitals are very energy-intensive buildings, and making sure that critical systems function at all time with facility managers disposing of the data that enable optimization and the prevention of potential issues.
Several EcoXperts already successfully address these challenges worldwide as ample cases show (check out some of the hospital projects showcasing EcoXperts in Action).
EcoXperts with a Healthcare specialization can serve healthcare clients in multiple ways, such as updating modern hospitals with the latest technology and leveraging smart technologies to reduce costs and meet other goals/challenges.
Some examples mentioned by Yves and Chris:
- Energy efficiency, though energy is a limited part of operational costs in healthcare facilities, becomes more important for hospitals. EcoXperts have ample opportunities to help their customers realize – and thus save – more.
- In helping hospitals move from reactive maintenance to preventive or condition-based maintenance with smart equipment, EcoXperts don’t just help healthcare managers avoid issues with equipment; they also enable them to move to a mode that is far more cost-effective since incidents that require urgent solving by definition are more expensive.
- With clinical environment optimization, healthcare facility EcoXperts are important partners in realizing better conditions for the patient, enhance patient satisfaction and, by optimizing patient comfort, reduce the average length of stay which again impacts costs.
For more ways in which our Healthcare specialized partners can offer healthcare solutions in areas such as energy management, power management, operational efficiencies, safety management, and patient and asset location management, to mention a few, check out the possibilities enabled by EcoStruxure™ for Healthcare.
The future is bright for healthcare specialized EcoXperts
After discussing EcoStruxure, what it takes to become a Healthcare specialized EcoXpert, the benefits, and what can be expected. A key takeaway is that our EcoXpert partners are the implementation arms of EcoStruxure and Wiser all over the world.
Healthcare is a complex issue, and healthcare infrastructure projects require quite some skills. As you read in the interview with Yves and Chris, these differ per region, whereby also our approach can be different.
EcoXperts with a Healthcare specialization, have the expertise to take on many types of buildings. Today most EcoXperts specialized in Healthcare have a BMS badge certification since the building management system is at the core of most projects. In some countries, there are, however, more Healthcare-specialized EcoXperts holding a Critical Power badge certification because of the local circumstances. Oftentimes, different partners combine their expertise and work together on projects, yet another benefit of the program.
Chris Roberts reminds us that the technology landscape is evolving fast with healthcare infrastructure trying to keep up. This year the EcoXpert Healthcare specialization will be opened up to solutions and partners from the EcoStruxure IT side since technologies and solutions such as micro data centers, edge computing equipment and secure power applications become more important in an increasingly data-intensive and digitized healthcare facility environment.
As a consequence, more partnerships can be forged, and collaborations enabled. This is further strengthened through the Schneider Electric Exchange, where all healthcare experts can connect to exchange ideas, best practices, solutions and other information.
Exchange is also where our partners can find the various suppliers of healthcare facility solutions we work with, including noise monitoring devices, nurse call systems, and, increasingly, EHR solutions.
Just like in other sectors, integration and convergence are key in healthcare as well. The goal is to enable the best possible healthcare facility projects with the highest possible efficiency for Healthcare specialized EcoXperts and their customers.
That brings us to a few of the other main benefits to become a healthcare expert: with predesigned, pretested and prevalidated solutions, partners don’t have to start from scratch which increases efficiency, saves time, and decreases risks, for the partners and customers alike.
Since our EcoXperts are true business partners, the program for the specialization also focuses on how to speak the language of healthcare management, the challenges and changes at hand in local healthcare markets and the regulatory frameworks in healthcare, even with solutions to help hospitals become compliant.
According to Lux Research, healthcare plans to spend an additional $750 billion this year alone, with the healthcare industry today being more challenged than ever before.