In this sense, hospitals have the advantage over patients; hospitals can update their aging infrastructures.
Still, new regulations, environmental guidelines, and unplanned maintenance costs can put a severe strain on already tight hospital budgets. These increased costs make it difficult to provide a comfortable, attractive, and safe healing environment.
The original hospital building was built in the 1960s. Several additions have been built since to accommodate growth and expansion.
Due to tightened budgets, however, the facility department was unable to properly address several areas of the hospital that experienced recurring comfort complaints.
Hospital administrator Rosemont Tyler noted that, “Our 30-year-old physical plant was in need of major updating and replacement. The location of the hospital made it difficult for service companies to address our problems on a piecemeal basis.
“These issues, coupled with the magnitude of capital required for the project, made it necessary for us to explore alternative ways to get the job done.”
“We knew some of our mechanical equipment needed to be replaced,” commented Lawrence Monroe, maintenance supervisor. “But funding was low. We chose to work with Trane because we had all Trane equipment.”
The company’s “Performance Agreement for Comfort from Trane” (PACT) program was presented as a means to address the facility’s issues using existing operating budgets, with guaranteed results.
The existing generator was old and improperly sized for the hospital’s existing load; operating room comfort needed attention; and much of the mechanical equipment was reaching the end of its useful life.
Trane developed a performance contract to meet the hospital’s objectives. Monroe remarked that this was a different way of working with the equipment manufacturer. “I really felt informed and part of the team.”
The final proposal was presented to the hospital with unanimous approval. “The single point of accountability” — Trane — “made it easier to make decisions and saved a lot of our time,” said Tyler.
Among the improvements:
Finally, an ongoing performance management and training program is in place to ensure that projected savings and system performance occur for the term of the contract and beyond.
Through planning and communication with hospital staff, the company completed the installation without disruption to hospital operation.
“Except for normal asbestos management delays, the project ran very smoothly,” said Monroe.
The hospital now benefits from more than $826,000 in facility improvements using the program.
The project’s annual savings of $113,000 and additional first-year savings of $20,000 are funding the improvements and creating an additional stream of revenue.