In a hospital setting, the efficiency of the operations is critical to the life and safety of patients, staff, and visitors. The vast, dynamic, and complex healthcare facility environment can be extremely difficult to manage without hospital building automation. HVAC, life safety, lighting, energy use, and access control systems are just some of the critical systems that are constantly being readjusted. These systems must integrate together to create a safe environment for various patients. Let’s explore some examples of hospital building automation and the impact of its precise control on patient care.
There’s a noticeable trend in smart facilities returning thousands of data points thanks to the expansion of the Internet of Things and the interconnectivity of the building systems. Hospital building automation systems, or BAS, need to take advantage of this continuous flow of information to track for deviations and find areas for improvements. Doing so helps hospitals cut down on energy costs and affords better care to patients.
For example, a hospital BAS has integrated patient admission and discharge tracking, bed and equipment availability, and room-specific lighting and HVAC controls. The hospital staff can keep track of room and equipment availability from a central dashboard interface. This makes it much more efficient to delegate the appropriate resources at the right time. The automation system can be programmed to adjust the room climate and lighting to provide a comfortable setting for the patient, as well as go into a reduced power or sleep mode when the room is unoccupied.
Hospital BAS can be run from anywhere since facility administrators can access and manage the various systems via computers and smart devices. Hospitals are generally very large buildings, with each room needing unique conditions to support different operations and needs. Each room condition needs to be closely monitored and be able to adjust at a moment’s notice.
A hospital operating room requires a cool and dry climate with adequate air-flow. Conversely, patient rooms are generally warmer and more humid for comfort. What’s more, hospitals are known to have isolation rooms to contain infectious patients as well as to protect patients with more vulnerable immune systems. These rooms can either require positive or negative pressure to create safe ventilation and air circulation. Automation systems monitoring the HVAC controls can help maintain the right environment and alert if there is a critical system defect.
Update Existing Infrastructure
New hospitals are built with automation systems, but we cannot neglect to upgrade the existing active hospitals across the United States alone. Of course, this presents its set of challenges on top of the difficult changes needed to address healthcare infrastructure as a whole. Regardless, it’s essential to help hospitals make a move towards automation to improve the quality of care to patients and prevent endangering hospital staff and visitors.
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