Four 'traps' slowing BIM use in healthcare O&M

A hite paper by Health Care Institute of IFMA, in partnership with BIM for Healthcare Owners outlines four "traps" that prevent the use of BIM for healthcare O&M

Scope for BIM use in healthcare O&M is high, a white paper states. [Representational image]
Scope for BIM use in healthcare O&M is high, a white paper states. [Representational image]

While an increasing number of healthcare owners are receiving BIM data following construction projects, not all are putting this information to use, a recently released white paper states.

A number of factors are restricting the use of BIM for operation and maintenance (O&M) work of healthcare facilities.

The white paper by Health Care Institute of IFMA, in partnership with BIM for Healthcare Owners outlines four "traps" that prevent the use of BIM for healthcare O&M. 

The following pages outline these factors, and how to resolve the errors. 

Data overload

The paper states: "The models being delivered to healthcare owners are typically highly detailed, fabrication-ready 'as-built' models.

"The detail in these models is necessary for drawing creation, clash detection and similar design and construction activities, but sifting through this level of data can be overwhelming to the facility management team.

"To successfully implement a BIM-based approach to O&M, it is critical to begin with an idea of the specific needs within the organisation that the BIM model should address, rather than with the model itself.

"By involving owners, facility managers, maintenance teams and other relevant parties early in the design phase for new facilities or additions, these individuals can set the parameters for data collection, ultimately saving time and money over the life cycle of the facility."

Analysis paralysis

"Because applications for BIM are still being explored within the healthcare operations arena, it’s unlikely that an organisation will be able to put a plan in place that accounts for every benefit.

"But by exploring how integrating BIM data into one area can improves processes, organisations are able to make a strong case for the benefits of this investment."

Speaking to the paper's authors, Chuck Mies, senior manager, AEC business development for Autodesk Inc, said: "If you can just extract the space management information out of the model that the architect turns over and it helps you manage space but you haven’t figured out assets and everything else – [then] that’s good enough."

Change management

"Perhaps one of the single biggest challenges facing healthcare systems in adopting BIM for O&M is that adopting any new technology takes time and money," the paper states.

"Rarely is the facilities department the first place where capital is allocated, but in many cases, BIM can help pinpoint areas for savings that can be reinvested in the organisation."

Mies explained: "When you have that discussion [about BIM adoption] in a silo environment, nobody connects the dots.

"You have to look at the business value in all of this at a level high enough in the organisation that can facilitate compromise."

Exploring within silos

One of the greatest barriers to successful BIM implementation is the presence of silos within healthcare organisations, the paper states. However, it may not be enough to simply invite the maintenance team to the design table and ask for insight.  

"If you don’t explain to them why they’re there, they’re not going to get any value out of this and it’s just another meeting to attend," Mies explained.

"They may show up to these initial meetings and sit there because nobody has empowered them and helped them understand that we need this input in this context.

"Explain ‘We want you to attend these meetings and we want you providing us input on asset selections, maintainability, and so on.

"If you see us drawing a wall next to an air handling unit and you know we don’t have enough room for a coil pole, tell us," Mies added. 



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