Home » Tomorrow’s Engineer: Pooling Resources (June 2000)
The past two monthly columns were devoted to feedback from hospital engineers who are trying to compete in an ever growing outsource environment. Having had the luxury to work for an outsource firm and now have facility engineers on staff who also worked in the outsource community of facility support services, I have some ideas to help in-house facility managers band together and outsmart the competition:
Create an off-site engineering/technical support group and mirror the competition. Pool your resources with other hospitals in the vicinity. Meet with the other facility managers and create a list of technical needs and then find volunteers who will offer off-site support to answer questions and provide quarterly reporting for all the hospitals on the topic on which they are most proficient. Don’t forget to also document what the hospital executive would like to see for technical input if they were looking outside the hospital for this expertise. Remember, outsource firms can call in their technical experts on an as-needed basis, so why not mirror that business strategy?
Create a mobile unit with partnering hospitals to do infrequent tasking (e.g., filter changes) and mirror the competition. Join forces with another hospital facility group to create a mobile unit that would frequent each hospital on a prescheduled basis. Changing filters is an idea example to try first since every hospital has this need. If one hospital provided the mobile unit van and another hospital provided the filter replacement person, this individual could serve several facilities two or four times a year. Not much of an investment when you consider the alternative, finding someone on staff who can afford the time to do their own filter changes. Remember, outsource firms use this concept to out-task select activities. They also use the mobile unit concept to add help at peak periods of work.
Check out the January 2020 edition of Engineered Systems: How and why WSP opted to replace an existing ice storage plant with a hidden modular centrifugal chiller plant, who has the authority, responsibility, and liability for keeping the air clean, and much more!