ERDMAN E-News – Patient Experience a Key Driver in Profit Margin Growth for Hospitals

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NEWS FOR DELIVERING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES

Patient Experience a Key Driver in Profit Margin Growth for Hospitals – Accenture
Hospital Finance News, May 11, 2016

 

A recent Accenture study found hospitals that deliver positive patient experiences realize 50% higher profit margins than their competitors who scored lower. These margins were also shown to grow more and more over the past 10 years, which illustrates the importance of health systems adjusting to a consumer-driven market. All types of hospitals were shown to have these results, with urban hospitals seeing the most significantly increased margins. When looking at ways to cut costs or spur growth, the findings reflect the importance of examining which services and capital and facility deployment strategies improve patient satisfaction.

A Facility Manager’s Guide to Improved Sleep
Mark Hoskins, PE, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, Electrical Engineering Manager, ERDMAN

 

Will my building operate if we lose utility power?
Avoid sleepless nights by familiarizing yourself with the requirements of NFPA-110 – The Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems. It states, “a routine maintenance and operational testing program shall be initiated immediately after the EPSS has passed acceptance tests or after completion of repairs that impact the operational reliability of the system.” Practically speaking, this requires that emergency system documents are accessible and components are inspected weekly and exercised monthly.

 

Managing Level-1 Systems Supporting Life Safety and Critical Loads
Instruction manuals must be kept in a secure, convenient location; one set near the equipment, and another at a separate location. This information includes a detailed explanation of the operation of the system, routine maintenance instructions, and detailed repair instructions for the Emergency Power Source (EPS or Generator.)  It also encompasses all major components of the EPSS, including all equipment up to the load side of the transfer switches, an illustrated parts list with part numbers, and schematic wiring diagrams of the system, instrumentation, controls and related components.

 

Battery Inspections
Starting batteries, including electrolyte levels or battery voltage, require weekly inspection and maintenance. Lead-acid batteries require monthly testing and recording of electrolyte specific gravity.  Annual diesel fuel quality testing is also required per ASTM standards.

 

Generator Testing and Inspections
All EPSS components must be inspected weekly and tested monthly, generators exercised for 30 minutes with either a minimum of 30% loading or at the manufacturer recommended exhaust gas temperature. If neither can be accomplished, the 2013 version of NFPA-110 allows an annual load bank test along with the regular monthly exercising. EPSS circuit breakers, including main and feed breakers between the generator and transfer switch load terminals, are to be exercised annually with the EPS in the “off” position for systems below 600V. For systems 600V and greater, breakers require exercising every 6 months and testing under simulated overload conditions every 2 years. EPS testing is initiated by using the test switch(es) at the transfer switch or by opening a normal power breaker. Transfer switches require monthly operation.

 

Maintaining Documentation
Maintained documentation includes a written schedule for routine maintenance and operational testing along with a permanent record of inspections, tests, exercising, operation, and repairs, all readily accessible. This permanent record must include the date of the maintenance report, service personnel, note any unsatisfactory conditions, corrections made, parts replaced, and any testing as recommended by the manufacturer.

 

Helpful Resources
There are great resources available to facility managers beyond NFAP-110. Other available resources are The CMS State Operations Manual, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Maintenance Manual for Health Care Facilities, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Recommended Practice for the Maintenance of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems. Test and document your EPSS and enjoy your reward of a restful night’s sleep.

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