Not-for-profit health system enhances the patient experience through facilities systemness
An integrated facility management partnership provides centralized and standardized facility operations
Transformed into an integrated organization providing standardized and sustainable 24/7 operations
Reactive work order volume shrank by 13% and customer satisfaction rose to 72.2%
2.9 million square feet in five hospitals totaling 1,269 beds, 240 acres and 2.9 million square feet of parking garages/surfaces
A not-for-profit health system in the Philadelphia area is a trusted provider of high-quality health care services, frequently recognized for its patient care, clinical education and medical research excellence.
To reduce costs and risks, and improve the patient and caregiver experience, the organization wanted to centralize facilities management (FM) across its five hospitals. Since each hospital was accustomed to having its own facilities team reporting directly to hospital leadership, “systemizing” FM would inevitably entail a cultural and operational paradigm shift for the organization.
Recognizing the challenge, the health system partnered with JLL to create an integrated facility management (IFM) collaboration charged with managing close to 3 million square feet of space spanning five hospitals.
Standardizing and streamlining siloed operations
The health system and JLL collaborated to establish IFM goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). After onboarding the healthcare organization’s FM facility directors, the IFM team standardized FM practices, policies, and performance measures.
Technology. Leveraging technology as an FM integrator, the IFM team implemented a centralized FM platform to streamline facility operations. Accessible through a single sign-on alongside other health system applications, the platform includes a mobile app that enables maintenance mechanics to work efficiently wherever they are located.
Strategic sourcing. Historically, each facility had procured its own FM vendors. The IFM team leveraged JLL’s volume purchasing power to secure better pricing and higher service quality, reducing the organization’s FM vendors to 253 from more than 900 and increasing the number of diverse maintenance vendors from zero to 10%.
JLL achieved significant savings while supporting our mission and our commitment to providing a superior experience for our patients and employees. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in the years to come.
Sustainability. Having implemented some stand-alone energy efficiency programs, the health system wanted a more comprehensive approach. Initially, the FM team installed LED lights and building automation system upgrades to reduce energy use, alongside other energy strategies. JLL was able to obtain utility company rebates and pursue other funding. In addition, the IFM team appointed a sustainability coordinator from JLL’s Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) division to help the health system achieve its five-year strategic sustainability goals.
Project Management. JLL’s Project and Development Services (PDS) provides project management leadership to maintenance-related capital infrastructure projects. The PDS team works with site FM to assess and implement best practice regarding project management, infection control and life safety.
Regulatory compliance. With support of JLL's Healthcare platform, facility directors efficiently manage life safety and utility compliance, and ensure ongoing inspection readiness. In addition, the IFM team coordinated with ATG to develop detailed cost accounting floor plans that enable the health system’s finance/reimbursement team to allocate square footage and overhead costs to the appropriate departments.
Patient environment. The IFM team implements systemized standard practices to ensure patient rooms are consistently safe and comfortable. For example, when “disposable” wipes began to clog sewer pipes during the pandemic, the IFM team worked with Nursing and Education to inform staff and patients to not flush wipes down pipes. IFM has also installed specialized devices to prevent non-flushable items from entering the pipes.
On one medical center campus, the team is piloting Zone Maintenance, in which a specific mechanic is assigned to a hospital “zone,” comprising one or more departments. Zone mechanics visit their zones daily, communicate regularly with department staff and proactively address facility issues.
Through zone maintenance, IFM and caregivers partner together to support the patient experience. For example, one zone mechanic discovered a faucet water line with a cracked bushing in a patient room. Had it gone unnoticed, the faucet could have caused thousands of dollars of damage and potentially created a mold hazard. As a result of the pilot, reactive work order volume shrank by 13% and customer satisfaction rose to 72.2%.
An IFM partnership that benefits the patient experience
After nearly seven years of partnership, the health system has gained new efficiency—and reduced regulatory “red flags”—through “systemness” and standardization. A multifaceted sustainability program is enhancing public health in its communities and led to $709,000 in energy cost avoidance in 2018 alone. Building on the success of its work, the IFM team has assumed management of an additional 250,000 square feet of space on one campus and in 2023, will manage approximately 250,000 additional square feet on another campus.
Most noteworthy, the quality of the patient environment has become an item on patient satisfaction surveys, and the occurrences of patient rooms out of service due to maintenance issues have been reduced. IFM is good medicine for the business and is translating into excellent patient experience too.