For Healthcare Building Projects, Construction Technology is Vital

Authored by: Ross Wagner, Customer Advocate at PlanGrid

All construction projects require lots of attention to electrical detail. But, for some, attention to detail is vital. For example, overlooking details that cause electrical issues in healthcare facilities could become a matter of life and death for patients. Machines supporting patient life need to be up and running at all times. For healthcare, sound electrical is vital, and electrical subcontractors can’t afford to make mistakes.

This is true now, more than ever. With more and more medical technologies coming into healthcare spaces, electrical systems become more complex, and chances for errors increase. Thankfully, electrical subcontractors have tools at their disposal to minimize the risk of errors. Construction technology that facilitates real-time information sharing and communication, and tracks project activity data can help subcontractors maintain their attention to detail and deliver their projects flawlessly.

Real-time Information Sharing

Healthcare facility construction is complex and, often, very large-scale. For healthcare projects, printing and distributing plans on paper and communicating frequent changes and updates to subcontractors in the field during construction can be quite time consuming. Imagine a large hospital building, where subcontractors are spread across massive square footage.

When building plans are changed or updated, that new information has to be delivered immediately to the field. Without it, subcontractors could be working off of outdated plans and make mistakes that could require rework or, even worse, go unnoticed. If such a mistake means the air pressure in an intensive care unit area is compromised, for example, the electrical subcontractors could have a huge liability issue on their hands.

Cloud-based technology solves this problem. When it is used to manage and instantly share project information on mobile devices, electrical subcontractors can easily reference the latest and greatest information to complete work without mistakes.

Instant, Effective Communication

Technology that enables subcontractors to communicate instantly, with all necessary details in one place, is also essential for getting work done correctly on a healthcare project. Healthcare facilities include operating rooms, procedure rooms, exam rooms and more — all requiring specific configurations for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. In practice, this means there are typically various types of subcontractors involved during construction. One change for electrical subcontractors could mean additional changes for the other subcontractors and vice versa.

Given changes occur almost constantly on a jobsite, subcontractors in the field need technology that not only facilitates instant notifications about those changes, but also provides the ability to tag and alert other team members, track tasks, assign due dates and follow approval processes, so work gets done accurately without any updates falling through the cracks.

Project Data Tracking

At the end of a construction project, electrical subcontractors, like everyone else, have to provide an overview of the work they completed. Traditionally, there has been a lot of data loss during project turnover, because retroactive reporting for as-builts is prone to human error. For owners who have to maintain and perhaps update their healthcare facilities later in their lifecycles, missing information can be problematic. If a damaged wire cuts off electricity in a certain area of a building, the facilities team needs to know exactly where the damaged wire is located. Not having specific details in those types of situations could jeopardize the healthcare provider’s ability to serve its patients.

When they use a productivity tool as a single source of truth throughout a project, electrical subcontractors can deliver a complete turnover package once their work is done. They can easily deliver activity history, pulling from software that automatically creates a history of all of the work done, along with a record of all associated documents, images, markups, etc., making reports even richer for facilities and maintenance teams to reference.

We rely on healthcare facilities to provide critical care, and those services require thorough and reliable electrical. For electrical subcontractors looking to deliver the highest quality of work on healthcare projects, utilizing cloud and mobile based construction technology tools facilitating information management, effective communication and rich data collection is now a vital necessity.