The healthcare industry is in a constant state of flux, with patient experience as one of many emerging drivers. Fawn Staerkel, director of healthcare at Johnson Controls, shares insights into this rapidly evolving market.
Q: Welcome to a world where everything is smart, safe, comfortable and sustainable. What does this vision mean to the healthcare industry?
FAWN STAERKEL: In the healthcare industry, a world where everything is smart, safe, comfortable and affordable means that a building’s performance infrastructure enables patients to heal and clinicians to provide compassionate care. More specifically, for patients this might mean a building where patient room lighting and temperature automatically adjust to the patient’s condition and needs, promoting comfort and healing. In this same building, staff benefit from integrated systems that improve clinical staff efficiency and critical building systems that automatically produce the documentation required for compliance with regulations.
Q: Within this industry, what does a “smart” healthcare facility look like?
FS: A smart healthcare facility enables the comfort, safety and convenience of patients and staff. For example, emerging systems connect online appointment scheduling with directions at a hospital campus. Facility staff automatically know when to clean and turn a patient room, as well as the best time to perform routine inspections and maintenance. In addition, a smart healthcare facility knows what spaces are occupied and can support energy efficiency by adjusting room conditions based on occupancy status.
Q: You mentioned safety in your previous response. With the Johnson Controls and Tyco merger, the new company now has one of the most comprehensive security portfolios. What most excites you around safety and security?
FS: I am especially excited to have access to industry-leading life safety technologies, including TrueAlert, an addressable notification system that lowers costs, reduces interruptions and makes joint commission compliance easier. We also have additional security-advancing technologies that will make integrating hospital networks easier while providing more robust protection.
Q: With security comes comfort. Comfort seems like table stakes in the building industry. Why is it critical in healthcare?
FS: Healthcare is predominantly concerned with patient care. Comfort is directly associated with the patient’s ability to get better. It also impacts infection control and the ability of clinicians to deliver care. If you follow healthcare news and trends, you know that the patient experience is priority one right now. It influences how healthcare institutions do long-term master planning. It influences how they manage construction projects and upgrade their infrastructure.
Q: In addition to comfort and security, have sustainability and “green” become expectations in the industry?FS: Sustainable and “green” are evolving in healthcare to an even more enlightened perspective that the building itself should be designed to not only be energy efficient, but also impact the patient experience and the patient’s ability to heal. For example, proper lighting in the patient’s room stimulates endorphins, provides a more relaxed, comfortable experience and has a proven impact on infection control. With our approach to Building Wide Systems Integration, we bring disparate systems together so they communicate in a single, converged infrastructure.
Fawn Staerkel, Director, Healthcare, North America
Fawn joined Johnson Controls in October 2016 as director of healthcare, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the building solutions industry. She directs the Johnson Controls strategy for growing the healthcare market across SSNA. Fawn studied business and public relations at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
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