The Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) in Nova Scotia includes six hospitals and several clinics around the province-31 buildings in all, dispersed across ten geographic locations. The recent partnership and past amalgamation of these facilities, each with its own established way of doing things, demanded that one standard system bridge the various organizations and usher in smooth, synchronized operations.
An Organization in Flux
Facing a tight budget and reductions in staff, CDHA looked towards a solution that would help it maintain the high service levels it was known for throughout this time of change. "We needed ways to extract old, current, and new information to best serve the employees and patients," says Lesle Peacock, Facility Information Planner at Capital District Health Authority. Quick, easy access to data was crucial in an organization as large and sprawling as CDHA. Automating areas such as space planning and improving the usability of existing systems in the Operations and Maintenance department seemed like the answer.
As a planner, Peacock saw the opportunity to create a facility procedure that would unite various functions of her job. Today, Peacock and her co-workers use ARCHIBUS to track moves, employees, and projects, which updates the base drawings and provides a solid basis from which the Facility Planners can proceed quickly with room requests and develop master plan layouts for future facility development.
In the Operations and Maintenance department at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, one of the CDHA sites, Supervisor David Horne and his staff have found ARCHIBUS to be more user-friendly than their previous computerized work order management system. Due to its connections to a larger, more complex system involving the inventory and finance departments, the performance of the previous system was often hampered. Only a few staff members had a good working knowledge of this system, placing unnecessary burden on those (un)lucky few. The department now uses ARCHIBUS to quickly review labor costs per building, department, or piece of equipment. Staff can also easily identify areas and equipment that require above-average repair levels. Quality control is maintained through reports that highlight outstanding work orders and craftsperson time accountability.
Standardization is Key
With ARCHIBUS in place, the organization addressed the task of creating and applying standards across facilities and departments. By standardizing processes, such as the way CAD drawings are created, it became easier to manipulate them in Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management, and easier to track changes throughout the organization. In addition, the various hospitals, clinics, and departments that make up CDHA all settled on standard room and floor numbering schemes, eliminating a lot of runarounds.
"Now, we're at a point where we're trying to get everyone on one database," says Peacock. For example, data that is standardized in the ARCHIBUS system is also available to the Information Technology (IT) and Human Resources (HR) departments. Peacock describes a pre-ARCHIBUS scenario as "IT and telecommunications people running from one place to another in search of a room where work needs to be performed, trying to locate employees for service connections. This was time and money wasted on a daily basis," she says. "But with efforts united in one central database, all departments can have continuous real-time data at hand."
Another perk has been more streamlined moves and relocations. Before ARCHIBUS, moves were not documented on a real-time basis, which interfered with future planning initiatives. Now that space-planning data is shared with HR and IT, the intent is that as soon as a new hire arrives, his or her telecommunications and equipment needs are communicated to IT using standard codes. This way, IT can more quickly prepare an appropriate workstation and the new employee can begin working right away. Without an automated system, this procedure could take months.
Peacock and her group have held regular meetings with IT and HR personnel to demonstrate the opportunities that exist when everyone works from the same set of data. "The more we get people realizing the usability of the system, the easier it is to keep the system up-to-date, the more efficient our working conditions will be, and the happier clientele we will have," says Peacock.
Tangible and Intangible Benefits
CDHA is beginning to realize the dollar value of having accurate data in a centralized location. "Many groups within the organization will ask us to supply them with reports, and now that such data is more in-hand, it's far easier to meet these requests," says Peacock. "What used to take a month to compile is now just a matter of a quick search." Faster report results translate into faster turnaround times for funds and grant reimbursement, since the organization is partially funded by the government.
The system has also helped ease the burden of staffing costs. "After the downsizing effort, people were having to assume extra work," says Peacock. "The system allows them to handle it. We probably wouldn't be able to get by without the data that ARCHIBUS presents." Its powerful reporting has replaced some administrative and basic planning positions, saving the organization over $100,000. The system's introduction to the maintenance operations program has proved a major time and money saver, too. Two full-time positions were relocated to openings in other hospital departments once the ARCHIBUS system was operational at QE II Health Sciences Centre. In addition, the system creates user-friendly reports that are accessible to all management staff, eliminating the time it takes to respond to specific, and often redundant, requests. The Operations and Maintenance Department is now working on a project that will allow staff from all other hospital departments to generate work requests on-line through a customized intranet.
Beyond these quantifiable results is the feeling of security that this data has given its users, including Peacock, who remarks that she feels confident about the system's ability to help the organization face any challenges that lie ahead.
Capital District Health Authority
Halifax, Nova Scotia
31 buildings over 10 geographic sites measuring approximately 4.2 million square feet; 3.7 million square feet of which is ARCHIBUS managed
|ARCHIBUS Applications: |
Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management
Building Operations Management
Furniture & Equipment Management
FM Web Central
|Impetus for Implementation: |
Need for quick and easy access of data; easier, more streamlined design preparation
|Benefits Gained: |
Saved $100,000 in adminstrative costs; reduced staffing requirements by half; standardized information throughout the organization for better move tracking and smarter planning
|Future Plans: |
Enhanced furniture management
|Business Partner: |
Facility Information Management Systems
|Web Site: |
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