Healthcare facilities can benefit from the services offered by Trane, a business of Ingersoll Rand, through its Environment of Care (EoC) program. The company has found a strong tie between the physical environment of care and patient outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction, and financial performance of a healthcare organization. As such, the EoC program is focused on working with healthcare facility managers to identify conditions in their physical facilities that are taking away from the effectiveness of patient care.
In internal research conducted by Trane, 93% of the healthcare executives asked said the physical environment is “Important” or “Very Important” to the patient experience. Carolyn Clancy, MD, U.S. Director, Agency for Health Research and Quality, has stated, “As hospital leaders continue to seek ways to improve quality and reduce errors, it is critical that they look around their own physical environment with the goal of ensuring the hospital contributes to, rather than impedes, the process of healing.”
Laura Rygielski Preston, FACHE, Director of Healthcare for Trane, says, “We feel it is best to understand the culture of the healthcare organization in developing organizational recommendations. This is done through interviewing key stakeholders, building assessments, and collaborative discussions. A comprehensive solution is developed through analyzing many factors.”
When Trane conducts an EoC assessment for a facility, broad focus areas include:
- enhancing patient safety by reducing infection, risk, injuries from falls, and medical errors
- eliminating environmental stressors, such as noise, that negatively affect outcomes and staff performance
- reducing stress and promoting healing by making healthcare facilities more pleasant, comfortable, and supportive for patients and staff alike.
Trane has the expertise to optimize indoor environments with its broad portfolio of energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, building and contracting services, parts support, and advanced controls for buildings.
While some changes to facility operations may involve no- or low-cost strategies, improvements to a hospital’s physical environment are often candidates for performance contracting, a funding mechanism that is available through Trane. Examples of action that might be taken to improve a healthcare facility through the EoC program are:
- Installing more energy efficient lighting and electrical systems
- Optimizing central chilled water and steam boiler systems for improved operation, efficiency, and water conservation
- Upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls
- Increasing energy efficiency, effectiveness, and throughput of laundry operations