customer stories

Challenges

Innovative Hospital Extends Technology to Facility Management

Healthcare in the last two years has changed a lot with respect to disaster planning, disaster relief, pandemic planning, contingency planning -- from earthquakes to floods to workplace violence. Healthcare facilities have also been impacted by retirements and labor shortages -- causing invaluable losses of facility knowledge.

MLK Community Hospital (MLKCH) in Los Angeles is using technology to address patient care, emergency response and facility management productivity.

In 2017, MLKCH made American Hospital Association’s “most wired” list for its use of telehealth, remote monitoring, and mobile technology.

The latest addition to MLKCH’s high-tech arsenal, the ARC Facilities platform, provides immediate access to fire extinguishers, alarms, and other emergency equipment information throughout the hospital.

“It gives staff the ability to access emergency plans right at the forefront,” said Westall. “The last thing you want in an emergency is to say, ‘Where’s that binder? Let me go find it.’ The ability to pull up the ARC Facilities app on our phones and have fire evacuation plans, procedures, right at our fingertips is an advantage for emergency management.”

Solution

Facility Mapping Via an Easy-to-Use Mobile App

MLKCH teams use ARC Facilities to confirm locations of key equipment by looking at facility maps, so it’s easy to answer questions like where’s the disaster radio. If the equipment isn’t where it’s supposed to be, then there’s work to be done.

Facility Mapping Via an Easy-to-Use Mobile App

Using ARC Facilities’ Emergency features, MLKCH can share emergency information with administrators as well as local law enforcement and first responders.

Westall said the ARC Facilities app has been added to every hospital “care phone,” which is a smart phone locked down geographically to the hospital.

“In a disaster or emergency, time is a valuable resource,” he said. “The sooner any hospital employee can access emergency information, the better.” The facilities team can also text floor plan information to the local fire department, so they know how to access the building if needed. “The ability to have that level of communication with those partners is really beneficial,” he added. Hospitals are in a constant state of evolution and transformation to adapt to growth and patient care. Transforming spaces may lead to “interesting” discoveries about what’s behind the walls.

“We were doing some remodeling to the biomedical engineering old office, and we accidentally drilled into an industrial air line. In these situations, we typically shut off the line to the entire floor,” said Padilla.

“I said, let’s use the app because my desk is nowhere near where this occurred. We were able to find shut-off lines 20 feet away so that we’d only have to isolate an area being impacted without impacting the rest of the floors and drop the pressure,” said Padilla.

MLKCH facilities also rely on a feature within the app where you can draw on the floor plan and write notes, which are emailed to staff to create work orders.

Results

Testing Facility Knowledge

Rene and his team use ARC Facilities when they’re doing “Easter Egg Hunts” -- exercises where different shifts are tested on their facility knowledge. They might be asked, “Go find the gauge for the air handler.”

When facility meetings include Environment of Care (EOC), nursing, public safety, human resources and the C-Suites, a great tool to have on hand is ARC Facilities.

“Whether it's an emergency situation or it's just for planning, we can show the entire floor, or zoom in to just show a section,” said Wright.

"Having app storing Emergency Plans is great, when situations call for fast emergency responsiveness,” added Padilla.

Conclusion

Technology That’s Fast, Fluid, and Flexible

As MLKCH continues to expand, renovate, and innovate, technology will increasingly be used to help support physical building changes necessary for patient care.

“We try to stay at the forefront and leverage technology the best we can to produce the best outcomes, whether that be in facilities or in nursing – because one supports the other,” said Westall.

“By using the ARC Facilities app, we're able to figure out like, okay, here's where we need to put the shut off valves so we can isolate each leak, so we don't have to essentially go back and forth,” said Padilla.

If there’s a need to move equipment because of ICU expansion from one floor to another, MLKCH can pin that on a map or remove it when it returns to original location.

If there’s a need to move equipment because of ICU expansion from one floor to another, MLKCH can pin that on a map or remove it when it returns to original location.

“What I like best about using this app is that it’s fast, fluid, and flexible,” said Wright.

Being an industry innovator is all about taking risks and not being afraid to try things that have never been done before. Whether you’re addressing building changes, emergencies, or strategic planning, having an app always available can link teams together, help elevate emergency responsiveness, and help preserve and protect institutional knowledge for future generations.

MLK technicians cover a lot of ground. They’re up on rooftops and constantly on the go, so knowing where each piece of equipment is located and having access to info about each piece of equipment is invaluable. Using the ARC Facilities platform and mobile devices empowers short-staffed facilities teams to do more without interruption for document searches.

Solving issues in real-time is at the core of the facilities and emergency management team at MLK. With information in the palm of your hand, teams can respond faster in emergency situations and new hires can be trained quickly and effectively.
terumo-video-image.jpg

To learn more about how ARC Facilities can make facility information access easier for your team request a demo today.