How Construction Data Creates a Seamless Handover for Arkansas Children’s Hospital to Operate on Day One

Arkansas Children’s Hospital construction

Arkansas Children’s Hospital opened a new freestanding children’s hospital in February 2018. The state-of-the-art pediatric care facility in Springdale, Arkansas, provides care for over 200,000 children in the region. The new building, Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), has 233,000 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, diagnostic and surgical services, and clinical space. The campus includes nature trails and gardens for patients and their families, as well as a helipad and refueling station for intensive care transports.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

To ensure a smooth transition from construction to handoff, the hospital wanted to have a fully-populated computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) on day one to empower the facilities management team with the tools needed to start building operations immediately.

Step 1: Choosing a CMMS

A computerized maintenance management system is the core tool of modern maintenance management, helping facilities management (FM) teams manage assets and track work. Choosing a CMMS would be the first step in preparing for building operations.  

“We initially planned to use the CMMS we use in Little Rock. ACNW would be an extension of that system. We had concerns about getting the asset data into the system, though,” says Chet Howard, Facilities Operations Director for Arkansas Children’s Hospitals.

The team decided to leverage Autodesk Construction Cloud™ - the cornerstone of which has been BIM 360 - for design, project coordination, collaboration, and field management.

Using BIM 360 throughout the entire project, the team could capture asset data at every stage and publish it into a common data environment, a selling point for the facilities management team. 

“Our goal was to create a central data collection point for the building information so that data could be easily pushed into our CMMS later,” says Howard.

“The Autodesk tools enabled us to design a process to collect asset data throughout design and construction and publish it. With the support of the software tools, the process helped us to achieve our goal of a fully-populated CMMS before patients walked in the door,” says Howard 

Step 2: Defining and Getting Buy-In for the FM Data Specification

Achieving this goal required a plan from the outset of the project. With the CMMS chosen, the next step to success was to create an FM data specification as part of the project specifications. The FM data specification was written to be compliant with The Joint Commission standards and would become the backbone of the asset data collection. The specification included assets, attributes, collection procedures, delivery dates, and who was to collect every piece of data. Close-out documentation was due before substantial completion.

A year before opening the facility, the team held a kickoff meeting with the design, construction, commissioning, and facilities teams. This meeting laid the groundwork for implementing the FM data specification and set expectations for the delivery to the ACNW Facilities team. Achieving buy-in from the entire project team and making sure everyone understood the end goal for this project deliverable was critical for success. 

Step 3: Tracking and Collecting Asset Data

The architectural and engineering teams needed a way to track the assets throughout the project to connect the data accurately. They added codes, defined in the FM data specification, to the Revit families, and incorporated these into the barcoding/QR system for the assets. Assets carried these codes with them across the project lifecycle, connecting the elements in a simplified way, so that the asset data could transition from design to construction and into operations.

BIM 360 served as the central asset data collection point. The construction and building commissioning teams collected the asset details using various tools, depending on the preferences of the different parties. Importing and exporting data with spreadsheets enabled the entire team to participate throughout the process. The engineering contractor published the complete asset data to BIM 360.

Step 4: Transitioning from Construction to Operations

BIM 360 was used by the hospital departmental managers to assist with transitioning the hospital from construction to operation. During the five-month transition to operations, the ACNW leadership team used BIM 360 to identify issues in their spaces. They created tickets with photographs and assigned them to the general contractor. The general contractor could then fix these punch list items in the unoccupied space. Identifying punch list items before patients were present made it easier to get the crews in to fix the defects, which in turn helped the schedule. The hospital staff created more than 1,700 work orders during the transition to operations phase. Opening day was much smoother due to the nurses and doctors identifying problems early and the general contractor resolving them before patients entered the space.

Training the facilities technicians on BIM 360 was also accomplished during the transition to operations. Technicians labeled the assets with barcodes and added locations, confirmed make, model, and serial numbers, and in some instances, identified punch list items that were fixed by the contractor. This process helped the facility team gain knowledge of the campus and learn the new CMMS. As BIM 360 is a mobile-first solution, the team was impressed with how easy the software was to use on their mobile devices.

Ready on Day One with BIM 360 

On opening day, ACNW had over 2,700 assets in BIM 360, with make, model, location, and area served. Systematically collecting asset data from the beginning allowed the facilities team to focus on maintaining the building, rather than spending months trying to gather information into a CMMS program. Maintenance history was already in place from the contractors, and the preventive maintenance plan was in effect from day one. ACNW estimates that having the asset data in BIM 360 saved them almost 2,100 staff-hours during the first year of operation.

The populated CMMS and active preventive maintenance program helped the team to be ready for the Joint Commission survey. With BIM 360, the facilities team at ACNW was survey-ready on day one when the state health department arrived, leading to a successful Life Safety Tour. With access to the 3D model, history, and training videos, the facilities team could pull up the history on a piece of equipment in the platform when the Joint Commission Life Safety Surveyor asked a question. 

BIM 360 keeps the team up-to-date on the progress of tickets, preventative maintenance data, and technician productivity. They can easily assign or reassign a ticket. Charts and graphs are a perfect visual glance on the state of operations.

Mobile Access and Notifications Save Staff-Hours on Work Orders

One year after opening, the facilities team realized time savings in their day-to-day processes due to the implementation of BIM 360. Based on prior experience, the team budgeted 30 minutes to resolve an average work order. With BIM 360, the facilities team found their work order response times decreased 15 minutes per ticket from what they had projected. The ability to have all of the data on their mobile devices has saved the facilities team many staff hours over the last year. These time savings also include punch list items from the transition to operations phase; the team has closed over 13,000 tickets, or 1,000 tickets per technician, in the first year.

Automated notifications reduce follow-up inquiries from the nurses and staff. The hospital opens approximately 230 tickets a week. With BIM 360, they have reduced half of the follow-up calls regarding open tickets. At 5 minutes a call, this saves 9.5 hours per week, or about 500 hours per year, on calls asking for ticket updates.

This customer story was originally published on Connect & Construct 

Lauren Ginsberg

Construction Content Marketing Manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions