A glimpse at facility management in this Vietnam hospital

There is a healthy buzz of activity at FV Hospital, a 220-bed hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Already known for its quality of care – being the first […]

There is a healthy buzz of activity at FV Hospital, a 220-bed hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Already known for its quality of care – being the first JCI-accredited hospital in South Vietnam – the hospital has plans to continue strengthening its medical specialty services and upgrade its infrastructure over the next few years.

With multiple upgrading and construction projects coming up, these are busy times for the hospital’s Facility Director, Mr Monojit Mitra. He leads a team in ensuring the safety and security of the hospital facility, and thus will be closely involved in various aspects of these new infrastructure projects, from equipment, patient comfort, fire safety to automation in managing the facility.

There are added considerations for these works in the healthcare setting, shares Mr Mitra.

“When works are carried out near patient wards or areas, we have to take extra care to ensure the works do not affect patient safety and comfort. We conduct a pre-renovation risk assessment (PCRA) with external and internal stakeholders to identify and mitigate the risks involved. We also conduct training for the contractors on our safety standards – fire safety, hazardous materials, waste and safe exit. Daily checks are carried out by our environment and infection control team during the period of construction / renovation.”

“In addition, communication with patients and their families is very important to seek their understanding for any inconveniences caused. We try to limit the works to after-hours, and reduce the vibrations and noise as much as possible.”

New maternity wardA new maternity ward has just been opened in January, redesigned with mothers’ needs in mind, equipped with wireless pre-natal maternal monitoring, mother and baby friendly infrastructure, spacious well-equipped nursery along with a Neonatal High Dependency Unit (NHDU). There are plans for a new paediatric wing, and a third hospital building to add more inpatient and outpatient capacity to what the existing two buildings are offering.

The multiple facets of hospital facility management

Environment sustainability has risen up the priority list in recent years, and it is no exception at FV Hospital. The hospital is currently in talks with potential solar energy solutions vendors in boosting renewable energy use, says Mr Mitra.

Outside of these projects, the Facility department’s role also comprises risk assessment and emergency response planning.

“Risk assessment covers all risks related to the hospital’s buildings, grounds, equipment, occupants, and internal physical systems,” explains Mr Mitra. This encompasses:

  • Safety risks (to building, equipment, occupants)
  • Security risks posed to the patients, staff and visitors, vulnerable population
  • Hazardous materials (usage, storage, inventory, disposal, spill)
  • Medical equipment (inventory, maintenance, calibration, recall)
  • Utilities (operational reliability, contingency)
  • Pre-construction risk (air quality, infection prevention, noise, vibration, hazmat and waste, fire safety, emergency procedures)
  • Fire risks (detectors, alarms, suppression system, extinguishers, fire exits)

In terms of emergency planning, the hospital takes an ‘all-hazards’ approach, which is an integrated approach on ‘capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness for a full spectrum of emergencies or disasters, including internal emergencies and a man-made emergency (or both) or natural disaster’.

“It’s the hospital’s responsibility to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies… which include electric power shortage, medical gas or water supply disruption, patient lift breakdown, HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) disruption or major medical equipment failure,” Mr Mitra elaborates.

At the same time, technical inspections and maintenance are routine work, but cannot be overlooked as they form the basis for safety and quality. The team regularly checks on the state and efficiency of the equipment, so they “perform to the best of the abilities and act as the best tools for our clinical team to provide care for the patients.”

The long-drawn COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to hospitals on many fronts. In terms of facility management, the pandemic may impact the vendors that the hospital works with, in terms of manpower supporting the hospital’s activities, Mr Mitra points out. The team has been liaising closely with the vendors on their challenges and create mitigating plans for the case of a worsening pandemic situation. The liquid oxygen tank installed in the hospital in mid-2021 is a step towards identifying risks and managing resources appropriately.

In conclusion, the hospital will continue to work towards ever-higher levels of safety and security for its occupants – the patients, their families, staff and visitors.

“We have numerous ongoing performance improvement processes and projects, results discussed in FMS committee (comprised of stakeholders across the hospital), coming together to analyse data and communicate to leadership. The steps make sure that any gaps are plugged quickly and our standards are kept on-par with international benchmarks,” he emphasises.