A hospital’s building automation system does much more than just optimize the HVAC system. Advanced building automation systems enable administrators to monitor and control a wide array of critical functions. These include life safety, plug load, access control and customized circulation. Hospital system upgrades reduce maintenance costs and increase energy efficiency.
Local system interfaces allow health care professionals to control specific performance aspects of their facility. For example, hospital surgeons use control interfaces outside their operating rooms to create pressurized spaces. This allows the doctor to view conditions inside the space and make changes without physically entering the room. Touch-screen devices, such as a system interface, integrates multiple zones into one device for unified control. An equipment touch-screen interface may enable the operator to adjust HVAC equipment in a room for patient comfort and safety.
Health care facility administrators use building automation dashboards to track things like safety factors, energy usage, room occupancy, regulatory compliance, environmental conditions and equipment maintenance. This helps them to monitor and manage critical spaces like operating and isolation rooms. Facility administrators can access this data via tablets, smartphones and graphic dashboards to improve operations, system uptime, turnaround times and energy management. It empowers hospital staff to use mobile tablet devices and management apps to view air, humidity, pressure and temperature data.
Some building automation systems integrate and interact with hospital software systems. One of the leading health care industry trends are solutions that bridge the IT and data sharing gaps between clinical systems and building automation programs. Facility administrators that can track real-time bed, room and equipment usage will provide better service and more comfortable environments for patients. For instance, many hospital leaders prefer to integrate the admission, discharge and transfer systems into the building automation platform for energy conservation management. That is, a patient discharge and unoccupied room will automatically trigger the equipment and HVAC system to enter sleep or standby modes.
Some hospitals are even integrating operating room scheduling into the building automation system to reduce the number of air changes per hour for unoccupied periods.