A new article authored by Joe Cassata and published in Medical Construction & Design highlights the numerous ways strategic facility assessments can help healthcare organizations make strategic capital investments in their real estate. Titled, “Building Wellness: Top Reasons Facility Assessments Are Critical for Healthcare Organizations,” the article recognizes, “That many healthcare systems are struggling with increasingly obsolete buildings, systems and facilities with diminishing budgets, especially in regard to operations and maintenance.” The article also states that “It is critical for healthcare organizations to know how buildings and systems are performing, where there are optimization opportunities and when a facility’s maintenance, repair and replacement deficiencies might outweigh its monetary value to the organization.” Pulling from his deep experience as the leader of CannonDesign’s Facility Optimization Solutions (FOS) team, a performance-driven consultancy focused on helping clients manage their facilities via facility condition assessments (FCA), proprietary FCA software, ADA assessments and more, Cassata then illustrates five key ways FCAs can help healthcare organizations. The full article can be read online and below is a glimpse at two of the key points Cassata discusses.
Healthcare facilities are comprised of hundreds and sometimes thousands of individual components. The goal of any Facility Condition Assessment is to answer the following four key questions for owners:
Knowing the answer to all four is critical to helping health campuses survive and thrive. At its core, an FCA visually reviews the material conditions, accessibility outside and within the facility, function of operating equipment, performance, estimated remaining useful life based on Building Owners and Managers Association standards and estimated costs for repairs or replacements. With a thorough examination of each facility, system and component, owners are granted a comprehensive view of the current state of existing facilities so they can begin to prioritize repairs, upgrades and future capital investments.
When it comes to budgeting and forecasting for capital plans, the FCA is an invaluable tool for healthcare systems. CannonDesign’s facility assessment process uses an industry-wide facility condition index to consider current replacement value against deferred maintenance deficiencies, producing a simple scaled number (0.0-0.5 – GOOD; 0.51-1.00 – DIVEST) that informs owners of the overall status of the existing assets. The detailed data collected during an FCA becomes an indispensable planning tool, giving owners the power to strategically track facilities and development needs, manage repairs and plan for capital projects in a predictable, efficient manner.