New Hospital Commissioning: Think Beyond the Building

b2ap3_large_healthcare_post.jpg

The term commissioning originates in the ship building industry. It describes the process builders go through to deem their ships ready for sea. The term also applies inland to describe new buildings that are considered ready to open. Commissioning can mean many things to the people working on the building, but the essence of the term remains the same –the building should be ready to go in all aspects.

There are a myriad of elements that go into new healthcare facilities commissioning, from complex items such as testing of critical power for operating suites, blood/gas lines and negative pressure rooms, to simple items such doors properly opening and closing or a light switching on and off. But one element that often goes overlooked, which is as critical as power and water, is the time and effort required for Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Commissioning.

Commissioning can mean many things to the people working on the building, but the essence of the term remains the same –the building should be ready to go in all aspects.

In today’s world, one would be hard pressed to identify a room, floor, or any part of a healthcare facility that doesn’t somehow depend on or require HIT. In fact, millions of dollars are often invested in delivering a new facility connected care environment that leverages HIT. So the question is, why wouldn’t an organization want to put an equal emphasis into validating every piece of its HIT solution to ensure that it too is “ready” for patient care?

And when I say every piece I truly mean every network, every device, everything that “connects” should be visited and executed through a Commissioning plan. This plan should consist of basic operations such as, launching an internet browser, to more detailed, “day in the life” scenarios. The HIT Commissioning Plan should be developed with input from end user design and workflow sessions to ensure it truly validates the intended use. Once complete, stakeholders can confidently turn over the new space to another key element of building activation–training–and most importantly training on ALL components.

The result of a HIT Commissioning Plan that’s paired with Building Commissioning will demonstrate to your end users that the new environment is “ready” for patient care.


 

July 5, 2016