Vital Statistics
Calgary Health Region
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Facilities Facts:
100+ buildings, over 8 million square feet of owned and leased space; 12 acute care hospitals, 2,250 beds; 24,000 employees; 2,150 physicians; service area comprises 1 million residents; budget of $2.5 billion
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Real Property & Lease Management, Space Management, Overlay with Design Management for AutoCAD and Revit, Furniture & Equipment Management, Building Operations Management, Call Center Wizard
3rd Party Applications:
Autodesk AutoCADĀ®; Autodesk Map GuideĀ®
Reasons for Implementing:
Expansion of service area due to government-mandated creation of larger health regions to achieve economies of scale and easier patient access; mandate by Province to implement CAFM to manage facilities more cost-effectively
Benefits Gained:
Standardization of facilities management database platform and processes; more accurate space management, assessment and planning; enhanced data-sharing among healthcare units
Business Partner:
Business Resource Group (BRG)
Web Site:
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Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management

Calgary Health Region:
Curing Facilities Data Deficiency

It turns out that the city of Calgary, in Canada's Province of Alberta, is the home of two stampedes.

It's long been known for its world-famous Calgary Stampede, the annual mega-rodeo that brings thousands of tourists and locals into what becomes Cowboy Central.

It is also the home of the stampede into CAFM technology that resulted in 1997 when the Province mandated that the Calgary Health Region (CHR), and other Provincial healthcare providers, increase the use of computer technology to better manage their facilities portfolios.

Calgary Health Region's adoption of ARCHIBUS to manage its more than 100 facilities, comprising of over 8 million square feet of space, integrated with its CAD system drawings, has resulted in operating efficiencies as large as the Province itself.

Consolidating Regions; Comprehensive Solution

The Province's decision to create larger Health Regions, as a way of gaining economies of scale and improving healthcare access, led to a dramatic expansion of the Calgary Health Region, which now covers a 15,000 square mile service area that includes over one million urban and rural dwellers, says CHR's Facilities Manager Diana Smith.

The subsequent directive to increase the use of CAFM technology to improve infrastructure and facilities management led to a review of vendor options. That exercise convinced Smith to extend ARCHIBUS throughout the Region's healthcare network. In addition to its Space Management implementation, CHR also added ARCHIBUS Real Property & Lease Management, Building Operations, Furniture & Equipment Management, Work Wizard, and the Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management application to facilitate the integration of CAD and CAFM information.

Unifying Data, Customizing Applications

"The various hospitals were autonomous and they all had their own planning departments with different ways of handling everything from maintenance routines to data management," Smith remembers. "When we regionalized, we realized that we needed a central repository for Calgary Health Region facilities data, which had to be collected from sites that sometimes had no dedicated computer systems to collect or manage it."

Facilities drawings, moreover, were scattered and inconsistent in format with facility details committed to vellum, hard copy, spreadsheets or memory.

"There were lots of cases where there wasn't any information at all," groans Smith. "So we've spent the last ten years manually drafting in CAD lots of sites because few if any were in electronic format, especially at leased sites."

In addition to consolidating information, CHR is, with the help of Business Partner BRG, personalizing its Space Management and Building Ops applications to incorporate asbestos management data (e.g., location; is it friable or non-friable, etc.) and attaching it to specific rooms in the system. The project will result in better risk management and fewer surprises for—and litigation from—maintenance staff and contractors called in to work on those rooms.

"We've also done some modifications to the ARCHIBUS Building Operations application, to reflect our maintenance practices, as well as making changes to the Furniture & Equipment application which tracks all Building Systems equipment and Clinical Engineering assets," Smith points out.

Smarter Allocation, Utilization, Reporting

While CHR's ARCHIBUS implementation is still a work in progress, it has achieved considerable headway by finally establishing a centralized data repository. That database makes managing facilities and sharing information both possible and more cost-effective in helping the healthcare provider keep track of real estate and operating costs.

"We now have the ability to do cross-site reporting on similar types of space and can react much more quickly to requests for information about space usage and other areas of concern," says Smith. "Before, for example, we didn't know how many operating rooms or offices we had. ARCHIBUS gives us a tool to collect and analyze that information as well as apply best practice standards and guidelines for better management. We can, for example, identify vacant or unassigned space faster and consolidate it for greater savings. We can also answer questions faster about what kind of space it is, how it's being used, and even supply CAD drawings or .pdfs of the areas in question, which we couldn't do before."

Still on the drawing board for the healthcare provider are improved signage management, interactive map guides, and the introduction of PDAs for more efficient data audits. There are also plans to have ARCHIBUS link to other business systems to be able to locate staff to a specific room, in order to improve space management and accountability.

"The other thing is, unlike the United States we don't do charge backs. There's no accountability for space that isn't utilized properly because no one has to pay for it," says the patient but pained facilities manager. "So someone may have an office or two that they only use two or three days a week and they're not going to give either one of them up. There are a lot of internal issues to be resolved. But we've got the right technology platform to keep our other initiatives moving forward in the meantime."