By Bob Dolan, National Sales Director
In the competitive healthcare space, facilities are under tremendous pressure to continuously update and improve their amenities. Hospitals and other care environments (e.g. nursing homes, surgical centers) continually seek to enhance their offerings and services to meet changing patient needs and regional demand, to comply with industry and environmental standards (such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services accreditation), to incorporate new medical technologies, as well as to ensure they are attracting top medical talent.
Healthcare construction therefore is an essential and permanent aspect of modernizing facilities and staying competitive, and represents a growing opportunity for many contractors, and facilities managers and owners turn to contractors they can trust with proven safety, quality and project delivery track records. That is because healthcare projects face all the usual construction challenges (managing various subs, tasks, materials and equipment under tight timelines) while also having to ensure uninterrupted patient care and to comply with stringent health, safety and environmental standards.
Given all these factors, visibility, documentation, communication and safety are critical to planning, managing and executing successful healthcare construction projects. Faced with these challenges, contractors are using leading-technologies to get the job done. Platform solutions like Spot-r provide remote visibility into resources and enhances safety across a work zone by connecting supervisors and workers in critical ways.
Remote Visibility Means Increased Site Awareness and Security
At a healthcare facility with patients and caregivers working alongside project teams, there are heightened risks and liabilities, and everyone involved (from owners to contractors to vendors/suppliers and laborers) need to make the building process as connected, secure and seamless as possible. On hospital renovation projects in particular, construction workers are often in close proximity to operating portions of the facility, and the ability for project leaders to easily differentiate patient care areas from active work zones cannot be overstated.
Spot-r breaks a work site into zones and floors, allowing designated personnel to see which – and how many – workers and equipment are active in the specific area. The dashboard’s historical slider shows workforce and equipment deployment/movement in 10-minute increments (with the ability to drill into the data), helping project leaders account for personnel at any point in time.
Emergency Preparedness for Rapid Response
In addition to detecting worker falls, including who, where, and distance of fall, the Spot-r Clip’s push-button allows workers to easily report a hazard, injury or incident they witness (whether it’s to themselves or someone else) from anywhere within the Spot-r network. Removing the otherwise manual process of having to leave the hazard, locate appropriate personnel and return to the scene to contain and respond, supervisors can go straight towards the location, improving overall response times by 91% and limiting unnecessary exposures in the process.
In addition, when it comes to responding to an emergency requiring evacuation, Spot-r provides supervisors with a tool to trigger a site-wide evacuation alarm from the Spot-r dashboard – notifying all workers directly – and monitor evacuation progress via real-time worker headcounts and locations on the “Project Zones” page. In fact, at a hospital project in New York City, contractors are using Spot-r strictly for emergency preparedness, placing EvacTags around the jobsite, ensuring that workers easily hear the alarm that they’ve been trained to know means to stop work immediately and proceed to their muster point. Spot-r reduces the chance and uncertainty surrounding emergencies, such as needing to locate the air horn to signal an evacuation or notifying workers across disparate work zones in a timely manner.
In summary, remote, comprehensive visibility and real-time communications tools don’t just benefit project leaders and teams, but facilities managers, hospital staff and patients outside the active work zone as well. With a single stream of real-time information available from any smart device and custom-built reports that can be scheduled and regularly shared with key stakeholders, all parties can stay informed and on top of any potential issues.
In a market that shows no signs of slowing down, technology continues to make a big difference not just in the operating rooms and patient care areas themselves, but in the design and construction of those rooms as well.
Bob Dolan is National Sales Director at Triax Technologies, specializing in improving overall safety and risk management on active construction sites, including several medical and education projects. Stay tuned for more posts from him!