Facility Dude

Communication is essential, especially for healthcare facilities

By Amy Myers
Jan 16, 2015

Healthcare, Facilities Management

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communication is essential It can be difficult for facility managers to keep all the different elements of their building's operation working in tandem. Larger facilities especially may have more moving parts in the form of different departments or even additional locations that could stymie a building's operation if FMs aren't careful.

This is a particularly important consideration in the healthcare field, where staff have to take the health and well-being of dozens or even hundreds of patients into account in addition to standard maintenance concerns. Some healthcare facilities have been turning to a tool that can improve operational efficiency greatly - and it may be simpler than you think.

The effectiveness of a daily briefing

Think of the average healthcare facility, and how many departments may be contained within. Each area has its own considerations regarding safety, sanitation and maintenance, but these shouldn't be taken for granted. Consistent and open communication is required to ensure that facility managers, administrators and department heads are all on the same page. To ensure there are no crossed wires, daily briefings involving all interested parties are becoming more common.

Health Facilities Management spotlighted Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as one institution that has put this practice to the test. According to the source, the heads of clinical and nonclinical departments have been meeting every morning since November 2010 - even on weekends - to discuss any operational issues that may have arisen in a given area that may impact health and safety across the rest of the facility. These issues can range anywhere from impending maintenance work that may affect the operation of necessary equipment to uncovered issues that could jeopardize patient health, such as worn down padding on beds that could lead to slips.

Communication as part of prevention

Effective communication is also a necessary component of preventing potential maintenance concerns that could threaten safety. Moreover, such briefings can serve as a useful touchstone to reinforce important procedures, such as emergency evacuations or crisis response plans. Encouraging a proactive outlook on building maintenance and patient safety - including how the two impact each other - is crucial for maintaining standards of operational excellence.

These efforts can be further assisted by certain technological tools, such as CMMS, that can allow facility managers and administrators to track any information revealed through the briefings.

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