Industrial Engineering

Facility Planning can improve healthcare

medical-tablets

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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 43: NUMBER 11
By D. JunellScheeres

Health system engineers looking for an exciting role can satisfy their wish when they help plan a healthcare facility. Healthcare building projects offer numerous opportunities to apply core industrial engineering skills and tools. Effective project management skills help identify and synchronize limited resources to key construction and move-in activities and milestones. Experience in process efficiency principles, information technology and layout can optimize design of the care environment while change management skills will guide healthcare workers through the transition. Healthcare facility may require some different considerations than traditional buildings:

  • Analytics and simulation: Administrators and trustees will appreciate an ability to assess the community’s clinical care requirements. Industrial Engineers’ proficient in analytical modeling and forecasting tools play a key role in supporting decisions.
  • Project Management: The process may involve being a liaison between the construction company and the healthcare organization. The project manager may have to synchronize construction needs.
  • Process efficiency tools: Those with expertise in quality control can leverage them to assess and design optimum care delivery processes.
  • Leveraging IT: Health systems engineers should put the best technological advancements into place, along with the technology infrastructure to support future growth.
  • Layout design and key adjacencies: Innovative health systems engineers can facilitate discussions between clinicians. Support staff and architects during the design of a new healthcare campus or facility to ensure the efficient physical placement of supplies, equipment and resources.
  • Change management: Physical changes, new equipment and new routines will need to be adopted by on-house staff and external providers.