Tricks Of The Trade: Hospital Staffing Support

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the August 2011 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I am looking for data to support an engineering staff for two major hospital locations and four smaller satellite sites. Currently, we have the full time equivalent of 68 staff members and can’t keep up with the work. As a result, we are experiencing failures of some major components due to lack of supervision and preventive maintenance. Where can I find data that will help me make the case for more appropriate staffing measures?

Joe Cenko
Supervisory General Engineer
Veterans Administration
Marion, IN

A Peter Lufkin has authored a whitepaper published by Whitestone Research entitled, “Estimating the Size and Composition of the Hospital Maintenance Staff.” This paper uses information from a survey conducted by the New England Healthcare Engineering Society (NEHES) and research published by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).

Interestingly enough, the County of San Mateo, CA has a budget report from its facility operations group for fiscal year 2006-2007. The report includes very good metrics on performance and staffing and is available as a free PDF download here.

I also came across an article (available for purchase) entitled “Maintenance Manpower Modeling for a Hospital Building Complex.” It was published by the European Journal of Operational Research so it may provide a very different perspective.

Finally, there is a very specific free report with detailed costs and budgets available from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. It is entitled, “A Benchmarking Case Study at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH: Its History, Its Current Use, and Its Comparison to Industry Data” and can be downloaded here.

All questions have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” portion of the magazine’s web site. To pose a question, visit this link.