ARCHIBUS Success Story

Partners HealthCare-Controlling Their Real Estate with ARCHIBUS

The Partners HealthCare System, Inc. is one of the Boston area's premier healthcare organizations. A not-for-profit corporation established in March 1994, it comprises the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospital, The North Shore Medical Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and McLean Hospital, among other well-respected member organizations. Partners is developing an integrated health care delivery system throughout the region that offers patients a continuum of coordinated, high-quality care. With 11 million square feet of facilities, 8.5 million of which is owned and 2.5 million of which is leased, Partners is arguably the biggest real estate user in downtown Boston. Partners' Real Estate and Facilities Department documents and provides reports on this space, including 150 leases, using ARCHIBUS Real Property & Lease Management application.

Leveraging Lease Information
For Partners, use of the Real Property & Lease Management application has been one of the greatest corporate-wide benefits of the ARCHIBUS system. For example, Partners carefully watches lease renewals and expansion options to inform lease decisions and ensure that it does not miss opportunities in the extremely tight Boston market. Partners also takes advantage of Lease in planning department consolidation out of high-rent leased properties into the most cost-effective leased spaces.

A Heavily Regulated Sector
The Bulfinch Building of Massachusetts General Hospital in downtown Boston, where the world’s first administration of ether occurred in 1846 Because the healthcare sector is heavily regulated, Partners needed a robust database to do its reporting. Like all organizations which include academic medical centers, Partners needs to maximize its Medicare reimbursements with defensible space data. "We need to do it right," says Katherine Cox, Manager of Facility Information Systems, with emphasis, "because we need defensible, auditable numbers."

ARCHIBUS's reporting capabilities currently support the reimbursement of Medicare funds. Although the initial impetus to automate was to achieve accurate Medicare reporting, Partners has found the reports are used by a combination of constituencies not originally anticipated. Not only that, Cox also says that they can "produce every imaginable ad hoc report," and because of the investment in technology, they "can turn on a dime" information related to the organization's real estate data.

Accurate space totals are also very important to decision support. Cox continues, "We need to provide our planners real-time data on the owned and leased inventory...when we're asked by somebody to do something new, we can deliver information quickly."

This Technology Healthcare System is Positioned for Strategic Expansion
Partners prides itself on being a "technology leader" and an "intellectual leader," not only in the community, but in the world. Consistently, new buildings have been constructed for changing needs, as old buildings are torn down or used in new ways to accommodate emerging medical technologies.

While the System's real estate expansion and modernization would have occurred regardless of the automation of real estate data, Partners' investment in technology has facilitated its strategic ability to plan for its real estate needs. Automation has provided the edge needed in the fast-moving and very competitive real estate industry. The breadth and depth of information quickly available to the Real Estate team has enabled Partners to meet the "need to stay nimble in our ability to analyze options," as Cox says.

Breadth of the ARCHIBUS Product
ARCHIBUS's ability to easily expand its functionality whenever Partners might find that necessary played an important role in Partners' decision to implement ARCHIBUS. "The availability of various modules means a lot to us," says Cox.

In making the decision to choose ARCHIBUS as their FM automation tool, Cox says, "We were looking for a vendor with a significant market so we would have reason to believe they would be there to support us." Constantine Kriezis, president of Facilities Automation in Boston, has provided the support they were seeking. Kriezis, an ARCHIBUS trained specialist working as a Services Consultant, has supported the implementation in various roles from its beginning in 1991. He has supported upgrades and assisted with minor customizations including the ability to track the status of TJC (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) items. Cox has attempted to customize only when absolutely necessary, to satisfy industry-specific requirements, and Kriezis has assisted the process every step of the way.

Partners has implemented ARCHIBUS Web Central and sees the next year's efforts focused on distribution, via FM Web Central, of timely, accurate data to key institutional users. They hope that the ability of these users to obtain routine data from the Web will enable CAD staff to be free to continue to enhance the database.

Vital Statistics

Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
Boston, MA
Facilities Facts:
11,000,000 square feet (7,300,000 ARCHIBUS-managed)
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Real Property & Lease Management
Strategic Master Planning
Space Management
Furniture & Equipment Management
FM Web Central
Impetus for Implementation:
Need for accurate, readily-available data to support Medicare reimbursement process.
Benefits Gained:
Accurate, defensible data that is readily-available and easily manipulated to meet ad hoc requests. Moving toward a hospital standard with the migration of ARCHIBUS to other hospitals.
Future Plans:
Leveraging the benefits of FM Web Central; implementation of Strategic Master Planning application. Considering use of the Hoteling activity for 24-hour-a-day tracking of medical resident "on-call rooms" (sleep rooms for residents on call) at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Business Partner:
Facilities Automation
Web Site:
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