When faced with the difficult job of managing patient comfort while keeping operations costs down in a facility of considerable size, St. Mary’s Medical Center knew it would be a challenge to find an energy management system that would meet its unique goals. For years the center had operated on pneumatic controls, which made it difficult to diagnose system issues and caused a drain on facility management resources. To avoid disrupting productivity in the main hospital, St. Mary’s selected Control Service Company to install Automated Logic in a new medical mall being built in 1999. Once installed and live, the system’s ease of use, accessibility and cost efficiencies began to reflect positively on the bottom line. The center then knew it was time to begin implementing the digital system throughout the main hospital to maximize its value long term.
CSC’s engineers worked closely with St. Mary’s facility manager to start retrofitting designated hospital systems and controls with current technology. To increase cost savings, St. Mary’s facility manager was able to pull wires and mount modules in-house instead of outsourcing, performing a great deal of the controls installation himself. At the same time, the hospital could rely on CSC’s resources to handle the system design, order the necessary parts and develop appropriate programming. To ensure the hospital is consistently operating within certain regulations, the Automated Logic system could provide data confirming that operating rooms are in a positive pressure state. CSC also tweaked both the trending and reporting features inherent in the product to meet St. Mary’s needs while maintaining seamless integration in the facility’s operations schedule.
As the new systems and controls went live, patient complaints dropped rapidly due to the ability to control temperature and ventilation in ways that weren’t available with the pneumatic controls. Most of the maintenance staff attended CSC’s training program once the implementation and start-up took place to help them become more aware of how the products work. Consequently, the time spent troubleshooting issues plummeted, allowing the facility management team’s time and resources to be allocated elsewhere to increase labor productivity. After more than a decade of implementing systems and controls upgrades as the center’s budget allowed, St. Mary’s updated its operating suite, one of the largest energy hogs in the facility. Between recalibrating airflows for the mixing boxes and taking control of temperature and ventilation issues, energy usage declined dramatically. In 2013, St. Mary’s became the first hospital in the area to receive Energy Star certification.