staff computerMaking key technology-related decisions as early as possible in the life-cycle of a Hospital Construction Project is essential. These decisions are important as they may affect construction-related activities, equipment procurement and vendor lead-time coordination, fit-up logistics, and operational workflow and training plans.

When the construction team knows about major technology decisions early, the team can identify the need for provisions of any physical rough-in requirements such as in-wall boxes, conduit, bracing for wall-hung equipment, etc. at the appropriate time in the schedule.  This knowledge can eliminate any unnecessary re-work in areas that have already been completed.

In some organizations, procurement is a long and drawn out process. There may be mandatory RFP posting times in addition to the time needed to develop the RFP and analyze the responses. Once a contract is awarded, there may be manufacturing time to take into consideration as well. All of these durations aggregate into the lead time before a system can be installed after a decision is reached.

Technology decisions also play a role in determining certain operational workflows that may be a change for the organization and its staff.  For example, an additional feature could be selected for a Nurse Call system that changes how an organization manages the room readiness/turn-over process. This is not a big construction-related issue, but the organization needs time to plan interdepartmental workflows, establish protocol regarding how to best utilize this feature, and plan adequate time for training once the system is ready.

These are just a few reasons that it is a best practice to make technology decisions early in a hospital construction project and work collaboratively with all members of the project team.

– Cliff West, Project Manager, Transition Planning, HTS, Inc., CWest@consulthts.com