Missed opportunities: two case studies of digitalization of FM in hospitals
Journal article, 2019
Purpose: Digital practices of facility management (FM) are undergoing transformation. Several Nordic countries have ambitious hospital-building projects, driven by large public clients with long-term experience of operating complex building campuses. There is thus an opportunity for creating state-of-the-art digital FM. This paper aims to investigate the role of digital FM in new hospital projects in Scandinavia. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a literature review, a framework of understanding of digital FM in hospital operation is established. Two longitudinal cases are presented and analysed, one for a Greenfield hospital and the other for an extension of an existing hospital. Findings: The literature highlights the importance of integration between technical digitalization, competences, organization and management of digital FM. The projects are in different phases and represent quite advanced preparations for digital FM. State-of-the-art computer-aided FM systems are prepared before operation. External consultants are involved, posing a dilemma of in-house/outsourced human resources in the future digital FM operation. Research limitations/implications: Two case studies provide insights, but they have limited generalizability. Practical implications: The study underscores the importance of preparation of management, organization and competences for digitalization. Originality/value: Documented research on building information modelling (BIM) integrations in FM is still scarce. This article adds to the few empirical studies in the area. The findings illustrate that real estate administrators investing in FM software for new hospital buildings face challenges of aligning BIM models from design and construction to the FM system.