Think Remote Operations to Build Hospital Resilience

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In the last blog post of this series, we explored the notion of hospital resilience as a core strength in preparing health systems to meet future extreme demands — the current pandemic serving as a compelling example — and the smart built environment’s vital role in helping them acquire that resilience. In our view, hospital resilience begins with the built environment.

One facet of hospital resilience is the move by health systems to rely increasingly on remote operations for hospital infrastructure management. We believe the use of more remote operations will be a hallmark of resilient hospitals in the future.

Remote Operations Ease Facility Challenges

A global panel of 20 healthcare executives convened by Schneider Electric this spring revealed strong interest among healthcare providers in remote operations to prepare for the formidable range of facility-related challenges they’re likely to face.

They said these solutions make sense for a variety of reasons. “Daily checks on the electrical systems, HVAC, medical air compressors, O2 storage and emergency O2 banks could be done more efficiently with a building maintenance system that allows remote access and troubleshooting,” one participant observed. Others also stressed the major reductions in facility management staff travel time and resource utilization that can be gained by using a remote platform.

From our perspective, with current technology, remote operations can deliver far more than the mere ability to deal reactively with alerts, potentially damaging fluctuations in power quality and comparable problems. Indeed, the beauty of today’s remote systems is their capacity to predict, preempt, proactively trouble shoot and prevent problems with hospital building management systems before they have a chance to cause disruptions, using high quality data to light the way.

In this sense, today’s remote solutions offer the assurance of business continuity — and patient and staff safety — by allowing organizations to respond and adapt more quickly and flexibly when they are hit with unprecedented circumstances, such as a pandemic or a natural disaster.

Enhance Operational Efficiencies

With a remote fix rate of 80% to 90%, remote systems can identify and resolve most issues before the customer even knows the issues exist, while increasing up time, extending asset longevity, ensuring workforce safety, and maximizing system usability and availability for the uninterrupted delivery of critical clinical and non-clinical services.

The concentrated focus on prevention made possible by placing building infrastructure management in the hands of specialized experts, off-site, frees hospital facility management staff to address pressing needs elsewhere. The resulting efficiencies enhance productivity, lower costs, and reduce energy consumption.

We work closely with healthcare providers to detail the tasks that can and cannot be handled remotely so that facilities can prioritize their work on focused, condition-based maintenance rather than routine maintenance. If something doesn’t need maintenance, why waste hours and expertise on it?

EcoStruxure for Healthcare helps to address issues before they become an issue for the hospital by working proactively and consultatively, using the best data to help track energy spend, identify problem areas and allocate resources wisely.  To learn more, please download our remote operations brochure.

Keep the conversation going! Tune in to Schneider Electric’s new Podcast Series for Everyday Extraordinary Healthcare focusing on Resiliency. Start listening.

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