A new report by smart building specialist Honeywell showed that 94% of surveyed healthcare facility managers considered that remote management is key for operational efficiency.
The report also stated that 25% of the surveyed managers currently have such a system in place, but 26% plan to invest in this technology over the next 12 to 18 months.
For this report, Honeywell surveyed facility managers across the healthcare sector in the United States, China, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
The report, dubbed “Rethinking Healthcare Facilities as Integrated Entities,” highlighted that occupant safety and wellbeing also ranked high in priority, with more than 90% of surveyed facility managers saying improved indoor air quality (IAQ) and life safety systems are important to attracting and retaining facility occupants. Respondents are likely to invest in at least one of the following over the next 12 to 18 months: IAQ solutions (28%), fire detection software (28%) or aspirating smoke detection (25%).
Additionally, operational challenges amplified by COVID-19 has raised awareness of predictive maintenance as a key enabler of efficiency, with 61% of respondents more willing to invest in it today than in pre-pandemic times. Just 30% of those surveyed currently have such a system in place, but 30% are likely to invest in this technology in the near term and 27% will likely procure real-time tracking of people and assets to help enhance operational efficiency. The three improvements respondents believe would provide the greatest benefit to occupants are predictive maintenance (30%), reduced downtime (29%) and better indoor air quality (28%).
Respondents said they are struggling with securing the financial resources to address their operational needs. Nearly 64% of them said they are now more likely to invest in smart building technologies than in pre-pandemic times. As for which aspects of a smart building they consider most important, 56% of respondents said improving staff productivity and building operations, while 52% mentioned the ability to manage all building systems through a single platform with unified data and insights.
“Connected healthcare facilities have been shown to improve patient care, clinical outcomes and operational efficiency,” said Keith Fisher, vice president, global services, Honeywell Building Technologies. “Increasing operational insight can help them optimize the use of their assets to avoid bottlenecks, cut waiting times and upgrade the overall patient experience. Many of these goals can be achieved by upgrading an existing building management system without the need to rip and replace. This is important as facilities are increasingly expected to improve day-to-day outcomes and enhance efficiencies with little or no increase in budgets.”
According to a previous Honeywell report, 75% of surveyed U.S. facility managers say COVID-19 has caused them to permanently rethink how their facility operates.
Nearly six in 10 respondents are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization and other healthy building solutions, while seven in 10 are now more willing to invest in smart building solutions, Honeywell said.
Also, three-quarters (75%) of surveyed U.S. facility managers indicate COVID-19 has prompted their facility to rethink its modes of operation. Many believe changes and upgrades made during the pandemic will be kept in place in some form; yet only 36% of those surveyed expect updates to the air quality system to remain permanent. COVID-19 is also driving facility managers to adjust their priorities and investments. For example, 62% are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization and other healthy building solutions and 56% are more willing to invest in occupant experience solutions like contactless building access, smart parking and personalized experiences.