Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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MCDM AG.COM | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | Medical Construction & Design 33 medical records and secure email communication between clinicians and their patients are fast becoming the norm. Seeing a doctor without stepping foot into a hospital or healthcare facility was once an unimaginable thought, but is now a reality. Other concepts of remote healthcare are available, such as Doctor on Demand, which allows 24/7 video doctor visits via a smartphone or tablet, making it easier and less expensive for patients to see a doctor faster and from the comfort of their own home. At a time when the U.S. healthcare system is being scrutinized, technology is not only making it easier and faster for patients to get care, but also providing a more effi cient way of treating ailments and severe and chronic illnesses. Trend #2: Technology + building healthcare facilities of the future Technology continues to fi nd its way onto construction jobsites. New tools from cloud computing and virtual reality to drones and IoT sensing devices are helping construction project teams collaborate more eff ectively and build more effi ciently, while limiting dangerous situations for workers. These innovations are being applied in building healthcare facilities. Tools like real-time location systems, which are often referred to as "indoor GPS," allow personnel and assets to be tracked and monitored on a jobsite in real time via a mobile device. Tracking systems like this, however, aren't new to the healthcare industry. They've been used for many years, and tend to be fairly specifi c in how they have been deployed — to track, say, the whereabouts of a kidney dialysis machine or securely look after high-risk patients with dementia who have a tendency to wander. Interestingly, tracking systems are growing increasingly more useful, from early in the project lifecycle to the completion and permanent installation in healthcare facilities. The tool has helped architects optimize design aspects too, with the ability to create "heat maps" to see where people travel and congregate, and where bottlenecks exist. Recently, an RTLS pilot program rolled out at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida. Skanska partnered with Redpoint Positioning, an RTLS technology fi rm, to use the tool at the onset of construction of a new eight-story tower. The technology was used to track who was on the site at all times, and as a safety and security component. For this pilot, the goal was to validate that the system could work in a building site of this scale across multiple fl oors. Volunteer personnel from diff erent trades and Skanska employees were tracked during the day as they performed their work and safe work areas were set up in the system with the help of a virtual exclusion zone. The analytics retrieved from the pilot indicate that RTLS may help improve productivity and enhance individual environmental awareness. However, fi ndings did reveal that access to reliable internet is one of the major challenges for RTLS on active construction sites, considering these environments are transient and ever-changing. While this technology is still in its infancy for construction, future pilots are planned with next-generation hardware and improved software, connectivity and analytics. Trend #3: Technology + planning and operating facilities The design and medical communities are utilizing geospatial planning and perhaps, more specifi cally, geospatial intelligence to better plan and operate facilities, as well as those planned for future care. GP and GI work hand-in-hand. GI is a tool to gather data and analytics that in turn is used to better inform the planning process. While not a completely new form of planning — remember the phrase "form follows function" — the use of the data created from real- life scenarios to shape our environments is. While as a society we create billions of unique bits of information daily through devices such as the iPhone, the healthcare industry is a major contributor to the data overload. Driving effi ciency in everything that happens in the healthcare environment is the goal. Touching and analyzing as many data sets directly impacts outcomes from square footage to energy usage. How this information is implemented into the built environment by designers and constructors directly impacts clinical outcomes and the fi nancial well-being of the caregiver organization. Andrew Quirk is senior vice president and national director of the Skanska USA Healthcare Center of Excellence. Real-time location tracking badges can send an SMS alerting for weather, muster or evacuation, or other condition hazards. The red button also sends out an emergency signal if a user needs to request immediate help or notices an unsafe work condition. Below: This RTLS system stores the location information generated for later analysis. Location points generate a heat map to represent the areas of the most activity. These heat maps can be overlaid by trade to determine pinch points and reduce points of confl ict. The information can also be played back and used in future analysis and in analytic programs to further improve project effi ciency.

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