5 strategic advantages of improved facility management in healthcare

As the healthcare industry shifts from fee-for-service to risk-based contracts, providers are consistently trying to identify how to best deliver value to patients.

The aim is to improve patient outcomes at the lowest cost. Healthcare organizations are pursuing this goal through a variety of strategies, some of which are often overlooked. Healthcare executives do not always take advantage of the opportunities available through real estate and facilities, for instance.

By optimizing real estate, space utilization, facility management and building renewal, a hospital or health system can successfully compete in the new environment of risk-based payment models.

In a webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions, John Summers, vice president, Global WorkPlace Solutions, and Todd Siple, account director, Global WorkPlace Solutions, discussed the impact of enterprise facility management on healthcare's value equation. 

Outsourcing facility management is a fairly new practice in healthcare, but one that can result in cost savings, economies of scale and healthcare providers devoting more energy and expertise to their core mission of caring for patients. Outsourcing models come in several shapes and sizes, including single service agreements, fully integrated relationships as well as local, regional and global models.

Each hospital organization must develop their strategies to support their business goals, said Mr. Summers. One strategy does not fit all situations.

Mr. Siple said healthcare organizations consistently feel the pressure for cost savings, and preservation of assets and sound maintenance practices can result in long-term savings. Energy reductions associated with operating procedures and capital investment in newer, more energy efficient equipment also help achieve savings. "Combining energy considerations with the capital plans just makes smart sense today," Mr. Siple said.

Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions manages more than 1.8 billion square-feet of real estate across upwards of 75 countries, leaving Mr. Summers and Mr. Siple with an ample amount of real-life experiences to draw from. They shared case studies and examples of how an outsourcing contract guarantees cost reduction. One client, a large healthcare provider, needed help in consolidating and streamlining its facility services under a single service provider. In the end, Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions helped implement a solution that satisfied multiple stakeholders. The agreed-upon management contract allowed the system to keep employment with union employees and let Johnson Controls lead the staff and manage the facilities.

The speakers also touched on what they have seen work well in an outsourcing partnership — and what has proven problematic. Signs of a strong partnership include a simple model with clearly defined expectations; consistent expectations as far as commercial and delivery models; transparency; and a partnership approach.

However, some behaviors and conditions can strain an outsourcing partnership, such as when a client continues previous behavior with respect to supplier management; unnecessary complexity in operating and delivery models; and supplier over-commitment.

Mr. Siple said overall, the key when outsourcing is aligning the contract for mutual goal success between the supplier and the customer so there is the same risk and reward model for the success of the contract.

Mr. Summers and Mr. Siple shared five ways organizations can drive strategic advantage through enterprise facilities management.

1. Transfer and lower operational risk. Healthcare organizations can strengthen their operating budgets by reducing costs for labor, materials and supplies and utilities.

2. Re-invent the care setting. By aligning acuity with real estate, healthcare organizations can increase savings and patient convenience.

3. Analyze your leases. A fully integrated technology platform can help providers manage their real estate.

4. Monetize your real estate assets. Organizations can generate capital by leveraging assets, according to the presentation. 

5. Evaluate the performance-based infrastructure model. Transferring building responsibility to a third party consortium offers fixed payment terms.

To learn more, download the webinar presentation slides here. View the webinar by clicking here. We suggest you download the video to your computer before viewing to ensure better quality. If you have problems viewing the video, which is in Windows Media Video format, you can use a program like VLC media player, free for download here. For more information about Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions, click here

 

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