New Ways to Find EVS Efficiencies

In today’s hos­pi­tals, envi­ron­men­tal ser­vices depart­ments need to make data-backed deci­sions. This demand puts them at piv­otal point — to find and adopt tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments to cap­ture and har­ness the pow­er of facil­i­ty data. Med­ical facil­i­ties and EVS man­agers who embrace new tech­nolo­gies have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to empow­er their work­force, increase effi­cien­cy and improve the clean­li­ness and safe­ty of their facil­i­ty.

In our work with over 950 hos­pi­tals, we are see­ing three data and tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ments EVS depart­ments can har­ness to find even more effi­cien­cies in their dai­ly oper­a­tions.

1. The Internet of Things: Putting Machine Data in Management’s Hands

The Inter­net of Things (IoT) is the con­cept of an inter­con­nect­ed net­work of devices that enable seam­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Mark Clabaugh, CIO/CTO at Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware, claims this is one of the most pow­er­ful poten­tial advance­ments in EVS tech­nol­o­gy today:

“This is what excites us the most as developers in this space. Our company has developed web services that facilitate communication between machines, mobile devices and web-based databases to improve the flow of information between devices, technicians, management and administration.” - Mark Clabaugh

This com­mu­ni­ca­tion enables what Mark calls “real-time sit­u­a­tion­al data,” allow­ing man­agers to receive facil­i­ty, work progress and sta­tus infor­ma­tion wher­ev­er they are and man­age their staff from mobile devices. This improved flow of infor­ma­tion makes man­agers more effec­tive on the floor and staff more respon­sive to facil­i­ty needs. This is part of our ongo­ing mis­sion to make man­agers mobile. 

What’s Next for IoT Technology in Facility Management?

Now, we’re work­ing to take the next step to cre­ate the same seam­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion we’re enabling with per­son­nel and imple­ment it with machines and devices

One of the largest oppor­tu­ni­ties is in the space of UVC robot­ics. It’s proven that using ultra­vi­o­let dis­in­fec­tion sys­tems helps reduce HAIs. But, accord­ing to a Duke Uni­ver­si­ty study, there are still two large bar­ri­ers to mak­ing these machines as effec­tive as pos­si­ble:

  1. Time­ly and accu­rate iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of rooms that would ben­e­fit from UV dis­in­fec­tion.
  2. Over­com­ing real or per­ceived time con­straints to allow ES staff to prop­er­ly use the sys­tem.

One suc­cess we’ve expe­ri­enced at Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware is work­ing with Solaris to inte­grate their UVC machines with our infec­tion pre­ven­tion solu­tion. In addi­tion to devel­op­ing a plan for suc­cess, our soft­ware allows the facil­i­ty to defin­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fy rooms in need of dis­in­fec­tion, bet­ter man­age resources, and meet dis­in­fec­tion goals and mon­i­tor progress through the program’s var­i­ous views, dash­boards and report­ing. 

We are now look­ing to work with machine man­u­fac­tur­ers, paper dis­pensers, and oth­er devices to mon­i­tor and improve how machines direct­ly com­mu­ni­cate with man­age­ment. IoT tech­nol­o­gy allows us to get instant reports from machines — import­ing data direct­ly into a web-based appli­ca­tion — to imme­di­ate­ly doc­u­ment con­di­tions that need a manager’s atten­tion and assign tasks through our Ser­vice Opti­miz­er plat­form. This type of instant report­ing from the app will allow actions to be tak­en in real-time to address issues, mak­ing EVS depart­ments more proac­tive and respon­sive to hos­pi­tal needs.

2. Artificial Intelligence: Automatic Response to a Facility’s Developing Trends

There is an incred­i­ble amount of oppor­tu­ni­ty for arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) to make EVS depart­ments more effec­tive. The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, a machine has the abil­i­ty to take raw data and process it through an algo­rithm to iden­ti­fy trends and proac­tive­ly avoid recur­rent issues. 

One appli­ca­tion we’ve been research­ing at Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware is how AI can be applied to polic­ing sur­veys. We’re work­ing to cap­ture data on issues found in var­i­ous pub­lic spaces at dif­fer­ent times of day to find trends and use pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing to head off issues in advance. 

Here’s an exam­ple: If we find paper prod­ucts in the Main Lob­by Women’s Restroom are emp­ty by 3PM on most days, then the sys­tem can auto­mat­i­cal­ly assign a task to check sup­plies before the prob­lem appears and incon­ve­niences the patient or vis­i­tor.

Like­wise, in the case of project work, a facil­i­ty may have a once a year fre­quen­cy for floor refin­ish­ing in a cer­tain area. But, if qual­i­ty scores from inspec­tions begin to trend down­ward due to high traf­fic, an alert can be sent to man­agers noti­fy­ing them that the issue needs to be addressed soon­er than planned.

What’s Next for Artificial Intelligence in Facility Management? 

While AI tech­nol­o­gy is extreme­ly promis­ing, kick­start­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties requires a lot of data col­lec­tion so that accu­rate and pre­dictable algo­rithms can be derived. 

At Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware, our web-based and mobile EVS soft­ware is well-posi­tioned to col­lect and orga­nize this mas­sive amount of data. With this data, we can devel­op data mod­els that auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjust tasks like fre­quen­cy of clean­ing. We’re excit­ed to con­tin­ue research in this area to look for new and inno­v­a­tive ways to use AI to improve facil­i­ty man­age­ment.

3. Seamless Connectivity and More Robust Devices

More and more, we’re see­ing hos­pi­tals com­mit to wire­less con­nec­tiv­i­ty through­out their facil­i­ties. In many hos­pi­tals, there used to be only a few ded­i­cat­ed areas where you could con­nect to the inter­net. Imag­ine need­ing to find time to sync your device and then being inun­dat­ed with infor­ma­tion from the past few hours. Now, as con­nec­tiv­i­ty becomes seam­less, EVS man­agers are able to get real-time infor­ma­tion any­where in the hos­pi­tal. 

Not only has wire­less con­nec­tiv­i­ty improved, mobile devices are more robust and tai­lored to work­place pro­duc­tiv­i­ty needs. These improve­ments to iOS and its devel­op­er tools allows us to cre­ate even more robust prod­uct fea­tures that would have been unthink­able years ago. Now, we can store more infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly using mobile phones and tablets, mak­ing it eas­i­er than ever to know how your staff is per­form­ing, the amount of work they get done, and if sit­u­a­tions arise that need imme­di­ate atten­tion.

What’s Next for Connectivity and Devices in Facility Management? 

The focus on improv­ing wire­less con­nec­tiv­i­ty will con­tin­ue to open new doors to real-time data shar­ing and increased pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. 

We see exten­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty in regard to com­mu­ni­ca­tions and remote mon­i­tor­ing of sit­u­a­tions. Devices, cam­eras and video tech­nol­o­gy are advanc­ing at a rapid pace, which improves the effec­tive­ness of com­put­er­ized main­te­nance man­age­ment sys­tems. Also, as the use of devices like tablets becomes stan­dard in EVS depart­ments, there are oppor­tu­ni­ties for Blue­Tooth tech­nol­o­gy to make a large impact on how oth­er devices, like UVC machines, are con­trolled. This ease of use will make these machines eas­i­er to adopt and will max­i­mize their effec­tive­ness.

Driving Innovation in Facility Management Software

At Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware, we’re con­stant­ly look­ing for ways to antic­i­pate, adapt to and devel­op soft­ware based on bet­ter data and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies. We want to help our clients use tech­nol­o­gy to make their jobs eas­i­er, their teams more effec­tive and their hos­pi­tal clean­er and safer. 

If you’re ready to take advan­tage of cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy at your med­ical facil­i­ty, reach out to me direct­ly at or call us at 800–260-8665.