ASHE, IFMA Release Healthcare Benchmarking Report

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the International Facility Management Association announced the release of “Operations and Maintenance Benchmarks for Health Care Facilities,” the first significant benchmarking report on healthcare facility operations.

A cooperative effort between ASHE and IFMA’s Health Care Council, the report provides relevant hospital operations data that healthcare facility management professionals can use to compare their operations to those of other similar institutions and make the case for capital investment and resource allocation in the boardroom.

Healthcare facility management professionals at 150 different health care facilities representing a broad cross section of the field were surveyed. The institutions surveyed included acute care hospitals, behavioral care facilities, outpatient healthcare centers, ambulatory surgery centers, critical access hospitals, medical centers, and rehabilitation centers.

The report takes an in-depth look at healthcare facility age and location, utility costs and practices, maintenance costs and staffing, environmental services, waste streams, linen services, and operational costs. In addition to the normal facility benchmarks commonly used — such as cost per square foot and cost per worker — the report’s analysis includes metrics hospital leadership will recognize, such as adjusted patient days and adjusted discharges.

“Our goal was to make it far easier for facility professionals to justify the needs of their departments to the C-suite by using the language executives understand,” said Todd Wilkening, director of facilities at Ridgeview Medical Center, Waconia, MN. Wilkening, who helped develop the survey and report, adds, “Facilities departments don’t simply generate expenses — they also bring tremendous value — and their actions can make a key difference in maximizing an organization’s cash flow.”

Key findings from the report show that for 83% of the hospitals represented in the study, utility costs increased as compared to the previous year. Many of the hospitals in the study are in growth mode, with increases in utility costs resulting from that expansion. For the majority of respondents, however, the rise in cost was due to higher utility rates, in spite of the fact that many of the hospitals represented had implemented energy management practices.

The report also provides current maintenance staffing ratios for major hospitals, which can help health care facility professionals benchmark against their colleagues in the field and better allocate their resources.

For a PDF of the report, click this link.