One of the many challenges hospital administrators face every day is how to ensure patient comfort and security while managing energy costs. Hospital systems, facilities, and equipment need to be kept in excellent condition to provide a comfortable and productive environment. This is where building automation comes in.
Building automation basically means creating a centralized system for a building to monitor, control, and manage the climate of the building and to troubleshoot any problems that may affect its systems. Building automation typically includes the following systems:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
- Lighting and electrical systems
- Emergency systems like fire alarms
- Security systems like surveillance cameras
- Vents and exhausts fans
- Plumbing systems
Implementing a building automation system helps in making health care facilities easier to run and maintain, enabling faster delivery of health care services and more.
Below are the advantages of building automation systems in hospitals:
Enhance Patient Comfort
Integrated building automation helps building administrators account for each patient’s individual needs. For example, when it comes to heating or cooling systems, building automation enables each patient, or patients needing similar temperatures needs, to choose the temperature level in their assigned room. This allows patients to comfortably rest and hospitals to cut back on HVAC costs.
The same goes when it comes to lighting. Allowing patients to control lighting in their own rooms enables them to decide whether they want to keep the lights on or otherwise at any time of day, without having to wait for a nurse to adjust the lighting for them.
Keep Buildings Healthy
In any health care facility, keeping a healthy environment is a crucial responsibility. A healthy environment does not only mean clean spaces, tools, or equipment. It also means keeping the required levels of temperature and pressurization in areas used for disease control or critical care areas such as operating rooms, isolation rooms, and emergency rooms.
Hospitals are large consumers of electricity. Some rooms, including storage rooms and pharmacies, use full energy even when closed or without medical staff inside.
Building automation provides sustainable energy management and conservation solutions. Hospitals can maximize energy-efficiency since HVAC systems and other building controls may be managed in response to the patients’ needs or according to the temperature requirements of a particular area. This limits energy wastage, and in effect, results in lower energy consumption.
In addition to HVAC and lighting systems, building automation can also be used to integrate access management systems. Access management is a critical factor in ensuring patient and staff safety security. With large numbers of people going in and out of a 24-hour care facility, having an access control system will help building administrators manage restricted areas and set alarm notifications. This ensures that security personnel are alerted in case of theft or security breach and lets them respond to emergency situations faster.
Adding building automation in hospitals is something hospital administrators and facility managers should consider as it provides many benefits. Building automation helps improve patient experience, manage building security, and reduce energy costs.