Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

Sustainability and resiliency are common buzzwords today. But for healthcare facilities to make progress in these areas, it’s important to take a practical, feasible approach that aligns with budget considerations. Thinking strategically about incorporating sustainability can help hospitals save resources and become more efficient.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

Sustainability in healthcare

Sustainability requires evaluating systems — including building infrastructure and organizational practices—and implementing measures in line with proper budget planning. A healthcare facility needs to have reliable and resilient engineering systems to ensure safety for its patients. While other industries may be more willing to try new technologies and strategies to promote sustainability, healthcare facilities must find solutions proven to work in the unique health care environment. A strategic approach to health care sustainability can incorporate factors such as limited funding, the rigorous facility accreditation processes, and a low risk tolerance.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper


Understanding budget priorities

Ninety-nine percent of large hospitals have regular HVAC maintenance and repair scheduled, Feature according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). Scheduling preventive maintenance is a good first step in addressing resiliency and sustainability. Unfortunately, since preventative maintenance takes consistent funding to keep up with the annual stream of preventive maintenance tasks, funding isn’t always available for additional sustainability initiatives. The operations and maintenance budget is often a target for cuts, which makes funding an additional challenge.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

Limits in funding are often reflected in facility conditions. When the choice is between maintaining the reliability of the existing systems and implementing new programs to achieve sustainable objectives, facilities will often opt to fund maintenance. A commonly cited general figure is that every $1 invested in preventive maintenance avoids $4 in future repairs. The return is considerably better in healthcare when factoring the costs of unexpected downtime. For example, the loss in revenue from a patient room requiring maintenance ranges from $3,000 to $13,000 per day.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

To achieve funding for sustainability initiatives, it’s important to make a solid business case. As in any organization, business decisions in healthcare are made based on the health and growth plan of the organization. To grow, organizations must increase annual revenue and deliver services with sufficient margin (profit). Saving energy leads to savings, and ENERGY STAR® neatly summarizes the impact of energy cost savings on the financial health of hospitals:  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

• One dollar saved from energy conservation is approximately $20 in new revenue for hospitals, based on a typical 5 percent profit margin. • Assuming a 20 percent annual energy savings, implementing a $100,000 energy conservation project (and reaping $20,000 in savings) would be the equivalent of generating $400,000 in new revenue per year (for the life of the improvement).  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper


Facility professionals care about their buildings and take pride in their systems, just like nurses care about their patients.

Facility staff are in a state of triage — stabilizing systems to remain operational and regularly appealing for funds, staff, and time to keep the facility at peak performance and competitive. However, as deferred maintenance grows, building systems can begin a downward spiral of breakdowns requiring emergency repairs, which cost more than preventive maintenance and subsequently divert resources from planned projects. Energy efficiency also may suffer, and ENERGY STAR® ratings can drop.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

This process is complicated by staff turnover and an aging workforce. Buildings do not run on autopilot. Systems must be monitored and actively managed by people based on activities in the building and outside conditions (i.e., weather). Documenting operating practices is a good start, but ultimately the facility staff needs to have a succession plan that shares knowledge and cultivates the next generation.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper

Further, hospitals are constantly in a state of upgrade, modification, change, or expansion. Because of the constantly evolving state of health care, facilities often change the use of space and add equipment without truly considering the cumulative effects of small changes on building infrastructure and operations. Frequently, projects are completed by one group of facility staff, but maintained by another division

. Without productive communication, installed equipment and even patient safety and satisfaction improvements may be counterproductive to the building’s central plant — or worse, completely unknown to the operations and maintenance staff. In healthcare organizations, facility staff is in the prime position to identify, develop, and implement projects and practices that advance sustainability. But this requires leadership and investment.  Sustainability In Healthcare Assignment Paper