Solid Network Can Help Facility Managers Tackle Complex Projects

  December 21, 2010

Facility managers are often called upon to tackle projects that involve multiple departments in the organization. Those projects are often complex management challenges because the facility manager relies on cooperation from departments over which he or she has no authority. That's where a solid network can be valuable.

A case in point is Texas Children’s Hospital. When the H1N1 outbreak began, there were widespread fears of a deadly pandemic. Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston was especially concerned. The state was among those with the most cases, and the hospital feared that its emergency department might be overrun by patients whose parents were worried that their children were infected by the virus.

To help manage the expected patient flow, the hospital created a temporary emergency center in a parking structure. The goal was identify and isolate suspected cases of H1N1 quickly. The challenge was time. Containing the flu was a top priority, and the new space would need everything from power and cooling to telephones and handwashing stations.

The project was expected to take several days. Instead, the facility department gave itself a single day to build out the temporary emergency center. One reason the job went so quickly is that the department had a solid network built up throughout the organization.

The department turned to IT, for example, to fit cable drops for the emergency center into its busy schedule. That’s a laborious process, but IT got it done. The temporary emergency center was in place for less than two weeks. But the new space did its job, helping the hospital manage an upsurge in patients. And a year later, doctors and nurses were still talking about the project. And the payoff f or the facility management department was a boost in credibility.


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