Hospitals

Incorporating technology into healthcare facilities

The visioning, coordination and planning of technology equipment in a new hospital or major healthcare facility takes a lot of meticulous work and accuracy to get right.

By Ted Hood April 8, 2021
Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architecture

When Nietzsche declared “the devil is in the details” he may have been talking about the visioning, coordination and planning of technology equipment in a new hospital or major healthcare facility. On recent healthcare projects, TLC technology consultants have taken on an expanded role to assure that healthcare owners consider new technologies. TLC technology consultants have also assumed responsibility for the coordination of procurement, delivery, install and activation of IT devices/special systems, supplementing facility owner’s staff.

Technology visioning

As Boca Raton Regional Hospital, part of the Baptist Health South Florida system, prepares for a major expansion and renovation of their facilities, visioning sessions with the Technology Steering Committee are helping hospital administrators, support teams, clinical and facility staff evaluate various new and evolving technologies for inclusion in their Technology Roadmap. Technologies are grouped by category, including Patient & Family Experience, Digital Front Door, Clinical Technologies, Patient Safety, Security Building Systems and Artificial Intelligence.  Their strategic goals for patient care, staff retention and other key areas allow the Steering Committee to focus on evaluating and incorporating technologies that will have the greatest impact on their delivery of healthcare, balancing the investment in technology against their goals.

Who was supposed to order what and when?

All too often we see where a piece of expensive equipment, crucial to the proper delivery of healthcare, is being balanced on a cart because the location wasn’t considered in the design. Or where pricey change orders are created late in construction to add infrastructure for technology equipment.

Inventory of all IT devices is key to project planning and budget development. Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architecture

Inventory of all IT devices is key to project planning and budget development. Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architecture

With a new healthcare facility potentially using 50 or more types of technology equipment, the planning and coordination of equipment, systems, procurement, and installation is key to success on opening day. At the Hamilton Medical Center Peeples Cancer Institute in Dalton, Georgia, TLC identified all existing equipment on hand in the existing facility which would be relocated to the new building and where it would go, leading to what had to be purchased. TLC led planning to detail who was responsible for planning/design, cost estimates, system interfaces, purchasing, delivery/receiving, relocation and/or installation, set up, configuration, testing and training.

TLC uses Revit to plan and place various technology equipment into the many rooms of a hospital. Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architecture

TLC uses Revit to plan and place various technology equipment into the many rooms of a hospital. Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architecture

A matrix of responsibilities minimized the opportunity for a communication failure and assured the owner that at all costs were known. Regular updates of progress kept the team on target. Development of an Architecturally Significant Technology Book (AST) by TLC provided the design / construction team and the owner with an index of all technology equipment in the new facility, including their unique equipment specs, product literature and details about equipment installation. This ‘bible’ centralizes a plethora of information and is readily available to facility users. Project drawings are keyed to match equipment locations to the AST Book, simplifying placement and identification.

At Hamilton, and for owners with limited procurement staff, outsourcing technology equipment procurement can assure that purchased equipment meets the specifications, is well coordinated with the design team, as well as utilities and communications providers and ordered at the appropriate time.

Finally, it’s go time. TLC technical staff inspects all technology equipment to create a final punch / activation list for the contractor, confirming that all planned technology equipment is in place and fully operational. Then it’s time to cut the ribbon and celebrate a well-planned and well-coordinated healthcare facility, a great asset in any community


This article originally appeared on TLC Engineering Solutions’ websiteTLC Engineering Solutions is a CFE Media content partner. 


Ted Hood
Author Bio: Ted Hood, senior associate, TLC Engineering for Architecture