The Critical Role of Technology in Reducing Hospital Construction Risks

Industry Insights: Compliance & Risk

The Critical Role of Technology in Reducing Hospital Construction Risks

Mismanagement of construction and maintenance projects can come at a heavy cost to healthcare organizations.

The most recent CDC statistics on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) show an estimated 687,000 occurrences in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2015. While this number, fortunately, decreased from 2011, it remains alarming that the latest reporting approximated 72,000 HAI-related deaths.

Though hospital construction and maintenance projects are a necessity in today’s ever-expanding healthcare industry, they are also a clear contributor to the overall HAI problem. In fact, it is estimated that 5,000 deaths occur annually because of infections related to construction activities. Therefore, given the high risk involved, it is particularly important that facility managers and infection control professionals follow strict pre-construction risk assessment and permitting processes.

The Joint Commission includes such an assessment in its Environment of Care standards, requiring hospitals to carefully oversee and plan for all construction activities. These measures not only help prevent the spread of HAIs, they also minimize risk of injury to patients, visitors, and staff. Unfortunately, the procedures that are necessary typically generate excessive amounts of paper documentation managed across multiple departments, making standardization difficult. As as a result, there has been an increased demand for technologies that allow personnel to more effectively manage the risk assessment and permitting processes from start to finish.

In response to these demands, ATG collaborated with experienced healthcare professionals to understand the types of tools they were looking for. A consensus among these professionals indicated there was a distinct lack of connection between pre-construction risk assessment (PCRA) and permitting (authorizing the initiation and completion of work). Another major concern was over the lack of efficient means to ensure that contractor personnel strictly follow hospital policies and procedures.

After extensive feedback, ATG went to work on a solution. The result was a PCRA/Permitting system that creates a highly collaborative environment for all individuals involved with construction and maintenance activities. The solution combines cloud technologies with proven best practices that allow hospital personnel to:

  • Track all permitting actions over the life of a project—including requests, approvals, and inspections
  • Ensure outside contractors adhere to all organizational policies and procedures
  • Stay on top of required actions through email automation
  • Archive supporting documents for authorized work so they are never lost or damaged

With the PCRA/Permitting solution, there is no longer a disconnect between risk assessments and permit requests, PCRA and permitting processes, or construction requirements and policy updates. From initiation to issuance—and ultimately to archiving—permits can be managed in a streamlined, highly accessible manner. As a result, the system is creating overall better business practices with maximized compliance efforts and—most importantly—keeping people safer.

If you’d like more information on how you can manage your construction and maintenance efforts more effectively, call us at 800.804.8442 or request a copy of our free guide on the subject using the form below.


Compliance & Risk

Hospital Construction and Maintenance

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