Representatives from Henderson Engineers and Henderson Building Solutions recently attended the 2022 ASHE Annual Conference in Boston, MA. This healthcare industry event brought thousands of healthcare facilities professionals together to share expertise, discuss the latest trends and common challenges, and network. Below are some takeaways from the Henderson representatives who attended the conference.
Data Analytics, the process of analyzing data to find trends and draw conclusions about the information they contain, seems to be a growing trend within healthcare facility management. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and building controls systems are beginning to utilize data analytics to help manage the life cycle of a healthcare facility’s capital assets. ASHE has also launched a benchmarking program so facilities can compare their facility data to others across the nation. We heard a lot about digital twins as well – a virtual representation of an object or system that can be used to simulate building systems in real time. Data analytics, when combined with digital twin technology, can simulate best practices for facility operations and management. Getting more life out of capital equipment is a huge need as the healthcare industry has estimated that there is approximately $393 billion in deferred maintenance costs nationwide.
The healthcare industry is under tremendous pressure to decarbonize as it has been estimated that 10% of all greenhouse gasses in the United States are generated by the sector. Healthcare systems are beginning to recognize their responsibilities and have created internal structures that are entirely focused on sustainability and carbon reduction. In many cases, they have initiated public carbon pledges to which they can be held accountable. However, there is much frustration about how to decarbonize when many of the tried-and-true technologies that make hospital systems run require natural gas for domestic hot water, space heating, or sterilization of equipment.
Even if a hospital is 100% electric, it doesn’t mean it’s efficient and not emitting carbon. A surprising fact is that electric reheat is the number one form of energy used in hospitals. Reheat is the practice of reheating previously cooled air for humidity control. We also heard a lot of debate around embodied carbon – the carbon footprint of all the building materials used to build or maintain a healthcare facility.
Reliability Asset Management
The healthcare industry is moving towards operational excellence, and it is getting more and more important every day to make asset management and maintenance more reliable. The focus has been how reliability centered maintenance (RCM) can be leveraged to improve the maintenance process and enhance patient care experience. It is time to think beyond the traditional failure, routine and preventive maintenance and rely on some maintenance strategy based on condition-based predictive maintenance. Though this is new to the healthcare industry, it is entrenched in some other heavily regulated industries. RCM started with airlines in the 1960s and was adopted by the United States Military in the 1970s, the nuclear power industry in the 1980s, and The Walt Disney Company in 1997.
Seeing any other trends in the healthcare industry? We’re always ready to discuss your ideas and find creative and cost-saving solutions to any of the above topics and more.
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