The U.S. healthcare system has an energy problem. Health facilities consume twice as much power from the grid as traditional office facilities, according to the World Health Organization. LEED certification is one strategy for healthcare facilities to lower energy demand and costs.
The U.S. healthcare system has an energy problem. Health facilities consume twice as much power from the grid as traditional office facilities, according to the World Health Organization. And without question, this voracious appetite often has consequences for hospital budgets. Indeed, credit rating agency Moody’s found that higher expenses have caused non-profit hospital operating margins to fall from 3.4% to 2.7% between 2015 and 2016 – at a time when regulatory uncertainty is growing, as reported.
Amid these challenges, healthcare systems have a reason to examine energy cost reductions as a way to balance budgets and establish sustainable facilities that evoke the conservation standards of the LEED Green building movement.
And as part of this exercise, healthcare executives may want to consider using energy analytic platforms. Indeed, software-driven programs such as the RTIS® platform can help organizations overhaul legacy energy management systems.
These improvements can be wide ranging, encompassing everything from the rollout of new automated energy control processes to identifying faulty equipment. Such upgrades can help organizations achieve substantial changes, including earning coveted LEED Certification status and freeing up capital that can be deployed more effectively. Such designations can help solidify the healthcare facility’s reputation as Green, while providing other positive, long-term impacts.
To underscore the benefits of Green designations such as LEED, we have identified key ways healthcare centers have improved their operating environment and services as part of their sustainability campaigns.
Replace Inefficient Infrastructure. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh saw the replacement of inefficient water faucets and the fixing of leaks as crucial tasks in the facility’s push to reduce building water consumption. It also had the added benefit of freeing up dollars for healthcare, according to the Popular Network publication.
Meanwhile, participants in the LEED Certification movement have found globally that improved maintenance of infrastructure results in long-term costs savings, while enhancing the health of building occupants. These organizations can then use these findings to make facility upgrades and fixes – with the help of Energy Service Companies that implement the energy-use strategy that the RTIS® platform technology helps create.
Healthcare Systems Can Provide Better Outcomes for Patients. Investments in effective air filtration systems – a goal of the LEED movement – can boost the well-being of hospital patients and help reduce their stay. Given that 10% of children have some form of asthma, such renovations can have an amplified positive impact for these vulnerable patients. Further, such efforts all help to put downward pressure on hospital expenses. And such air filtration unit improvements go hand-and-hand with how institutions are increasingly use energy analytic systems to modernize and maintain HVAC systems.
Improved Staff Morale and Well-Being. Academic research has shown that Green buildings correspond well with increased patient safety and stronger staff morale at healthcare centers. Indeed, a Green Healthcare Institutions report cited several positive outcomes from increased investment in facilities, including “reduced staff stress and fatigue and increased effectiveness in delivering care.” Additionally, multiple studies of the LEED Certification movement found evidence that worker absenteeism decreases in sustainable buildings compared to traditional ones. Partnerships with energy analytic platform providers can only help organizations arrive quicker to such favorable outcomes.
While no method is a cure all for the challenges facing healthcare systems, one-by-one they can help build an internal case for achieving LEED Certification for facilities.
Request a complimentary energy efficiency assessment to find out how Artis Energy’s RTIS® energy analytics platform can provide you with the visibility and insight to transform energy from a fixed cost into a distinct competitive advantage.