FMME pays a visit to Emrill's operation at Mediclinic's clinic at the Ibn Battuta Mall for a first-hand account of the FM provider's first foray into healthcare
Following the example set by its UK-based parent company Carillion years before, Emrill has launched its first foray into the realm of healthcare FM.
Announced back in February 2015, the FM provider was awarded a one-year facilities management contract with Mediclinic Middle East, a prominent group within the UAE’s healthcare care market. Under its name, the group operates two hospitals and ten outpatient clinics spread across the GCC nation.
Emrill has been tasked to deliver MEP plant and equipment maintenance, as well as asset management. Additionally, the company will also deliver soft services in the form of housekeeping and helpdesk operation.
Leading a tour of the FM provider’s operation at the Mediclinic outpatient clinic in the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, Syed Abdul Majeed, general manager of FM, Emrill, breaks down the importance of the contract and its impact on future projects.
“We have been working for the last six to eight months on a strategy for moving into the healthcare industry…we had to set up a specialised training centre for this team,” explains Majeed.
In addition to further enhancing the company’s existing portfolio operations, the true value of the Mediclinic contract lies with the experience gained and improved training regimen of its workforce.
To address the demands of the healthcare market, Emrill stepped up their training programs to prepare their staff for the intricacies of working within a healthcare environment.
In addition to meeting the standards set forth by both the both the Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA) and the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Emrill’s team have learned the value of discretion, a trait that is often invaluable in an environment where patient privacy is paramount.
Lacking the necessary expertise for FM, Mediclinic’s decision to bring Emrill on board was one borne simply out of necessity.
It was however important for the healthcare group to both identify and collaborate with a similar organisation that shared the same ethos and approach to business.
“By outsourcing our facilities management services to Emrill, we are hoping to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of specialists in this field, and further improve the standard of our clinic operations whilst improving efficiency,” comments Stefan Sickel, GM Group Pharmacy Procurement.
At first glance the operation appears to be a rather simple one. Beginning from the crack of dawn, Emrill’s static team of housekeepers clean the facility before the peak hours kick in.
As cleanliness in such an environment is paramount, the team is constantly active ensuring the clinic is kept in pristine condition.
In addition to instruction on general cleaning, Emrill’s staff have also been trained on waste management. The drill includes the segreation of trash prior to its arrival to centralised waste storage.
Care is taken to separate medical waste from general waste in order to avoid cross contamination, and once collated, the refuse is then transported offsite by a third-party waste contractor.
In the event of a more serious issue however, such as is the case when there is a breakdown with the MEP plant, a reaction call is placed for the deployment of one of Emrill’s mobile technical teams.
Addtionally, when such an issue crops up with the MEP, or even with the air ducts and HVACs, Emrill’s staff have to liaise with the landlord, as such is the case with Mediclinic’s clinic in Ibn Battuta Mall.
When the need does arise for hard service specialists, a call is sent out by Mediclinic to Emrill’s call centre, which then coordinates the mobile teams for deployment.
“We have a centralised hold-centre in our call centre, as well as onsite. So dispatching happens from the call centre to the mobile team and they float around in different areas within Dubai. Once called, the response time is 20 minutes,” explains Majeed.
He adds: “When we initially came into the contract, we had calls coming in everyday … when we completed our first phase, we brought down the number of reactive calls that were coming in.”
In addition to its overseeing the standard MEP, Emrill also been tasked in monitoring the quality of air across Mediclinic’s facilities. A value-add service in its contract, Emrill monitors the air quality, liases with the landlords when necessary and then reports its findings back to Mediclinic.
“When we check the quality of the air and we get some feedback … specific areas has to have the specific air flow from the specific units. Emrill reports this an additional consultation to the clinics with feedbacks on the reports and to the retrofits as required,” comments Majeed.
The general manager goes on to add that when it comes to asset management and replacement, Emrill hopes to adopt a more preventative maintenance approach, rather than areactive one.
Part of what he describes as a, “proactive regime”, the company’s teams frequently monitor assets on site, taking numerour inspection photographs for analysis.
“We forecast of what needs to be replaced and we assess the lifecycle of the asset,” explains Majeed.
“Then we look at where our expenses crosses the capital expenses and operational expenses, then we do it in such a way that we look into the replacement of the life asset.”
Fed into Emrill’s CAFM system, which has been developed by FM software company FSI solutions, the call centre coordinates with mobile teams to get the respective personnel onsite to address any rising issues.
Across all areas of its operations, the FM provider follows the SFG 20 system, a UK-based standard for utilising a building management system.
Furthermore, Mediclinic can access Emrill’s CAFM system via a web-based link, allowing the healthcare provider to both receive and share reactive SLAs and KPIs.
“This is how the clinic has more collaboration with us, because we have more unbiased approach. We are open to them, sharing reports, as well as the breakdowns and discussing directly the risks,” explains Majeed.
To Mediclinic’s Sickel, the arrangement is working out quite well.
“Mediclinic is committed to the provision of quality healthcare to patients. Facilities management is not our core business, but of course forms a key part of our mission to offer excellent standards. When we approached Emrill we were looking for a partner whose reputation for quality and reliability matched our own,” beams Sickel.