3 Things All Healthcare Facility Managers Should Know

October 17, 2013

Prioritize Competing Projects and Make the Case for Capital Improvements

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, located in Boston. The mission of BIDMC is to provide extraordinary care, where the patient comes first, supported by world-class education and research. Facility managers at BIDMC began working with VFA about 12 years ago when they decided that they needed an infrastructure master plan. BIDMC has 2 main campuses with approximately 2.5 million square feet and an additional 1 million square feet in garage space. VFA conducted a full facility condition assessment and input the condition data into VFA.facility.


Ray Dufresne discusses his work with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

1. Prioritization – How do you know where to start?

One challenge, typically faced by most facility managers, is to decide what’s most important out of the long list of needs.  VFA.facility allows facility managers to objectively prioritize competing projects, and run scenarios to show the impact of different funding levels on facility condition over time. The condition assessment data is what fuels prioritization strategy. Once BIDMC’s data was collected and available for analysis, knowing where to start and what was most critical became clear. This allows BIDMC to avoid costly emergencies and it also allows them to have a longer term view of their projects from both a criticality and a funding standpoint.

2. Credibility – Why should we listen to you?

Using VFA.facility has streamlined BIDMC’s decision making process and given them the data to support their capital improvement plans. The reduction in emergency spending and the increase in capital spend efficiency instills confidence in the capital plan and also instills confidence in the BIDMC organization that they are focusing on the most critical priorities.

3. Funding – Why are you asking for this amount?

BIDMC has seen a dramatic increase in funding since implementing the solution. By creating a prioritization strategy supported by data, they gained credibility for their plans and more specifically, for their funding requests. They also spent what funding they were given more efficiently and were able to do more with what they were given. The embedded RSMeans cost data allows facility managers to estimate the cost of deferred maintenance projects and accurately project future funding needs. Over the past ten years, capital funding allocations have increased over 473 percent from $3 million in 2003 to $14.2 million in 2012.

The Future

BIDMC understands the importance of an ongoing assessment program to ensure that decisions are being made based on the most accurate information. We are currently working with BIDMC to reassess the main campuses as well as several satellite offices.  With current data, the facilities team can produce accurate budgets and continue to receive the capital dollars they need.

Learn More

Facility managers should check out HFM’s ‘Time to Build?’ Hospital Construction Survey for some interesting statistics on planned capital improvements in the healthcare industry.

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