What is a Facility Management Aggregator and How Do They Put Health Facilities at Risk?

As healthcare systems have merged, resulting in massive networks and systems, there has become a need to consolidate local and regional suppliers for facility management support.    

Enter the facility management aggregator, which works with multiple vendors in HVAC, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and commercial cleaning.

The aggregator essentially becomes the “oversight” of all the facility management companies and tasks that happen at smaller locations across the country.

Is this a good idea?

In theory, yes, but aggregators are putting human lives at risk when it comes to health care.

Healthcare systems get the small benefit by saving some money but do not get the risk reduction benefit they need.  

With an aggregator, facility leaders miss out on complete, consistent service and the ability to make sure all healthcare facilities in the portfolio are safe, clean, and compliant.

The process of aggregating, in general, doesn’t solve a more significant problem—a unified category solution. This business model collects information about providers, signs contracts, and then sells their services under a brand—that you may or may not have heard of.

Theoretically, It sounds efficient, but aggregation is more complicated in a medical setting. Aggregators focus more on getting somebody to the facility to fix a problem rather than the quality of the service. Risky indeed

Ensuring Consistency of Service for Healthcare

Like many healthcare organizations, aggregators face labor shortages and employee churn.

One challenge for managers in working with aggregators is ensuring service consistency. You don't know who will show up, and it could be a different person each time. This change in workers adds risk in healthcare when the group does not cater to the healthcare sector.

In healthcare, just like other industries, compliance regulations, strict guidelines, and specific nuances exist. If there is a revolving door of providers coming and going in a healthcare facility, that dire attention to detail is missed.  

Healthcare cleaning is complex, especially when the clinic or urgent care center has high traffic. Many surfaces must be decontaminated and ready for the next patient.

With that amount of space that needs to be disinfected quickly, time pressure increases. Unfortunately, when using an aggregator, there will always be an absent resource; when additional cleaning is required, there are often insufficient resources.

As a result, clinic administrators and staff must take their attention off the patient experience and focus on facility issues. Navigating the healthcare facility becomes complicated for professionals, patients, and visitors. Ultimately, the healthcare facility fails because patients do not feel that they are in a safe environment with minimal cross-exposure.

How Healthcare Organizations Should Consolidate Facility Management Services

So, if healthcare organizations should be consolidating their facility management and aggregators add risk, how should organizations consolidate?

Look for a national provider offering multiple layers of support to meet corporate and site-level needs. This ensures service consistency across sites and data to increase efficiency.

For example, at OpenWorks, operations managers provide oversight and facility expertise to ensure accountability at each location, while direct franchisees and independent contractors take pride in their work.

Research and understand your facility management company’s support system and model. Is there even one in place? There should be support at every level to ensure your healthcare facility is as safe and disinfected as possible.

Check out the OpenWorks model. With the foundation of technology and data running underneath it, there is a system of oversight from the service providers to the operations manager—your personal point of contact.

Healthcare is personal. Shouldn’t your facility management be, too? Reach out today to speak to a healthcare facility management specialist for a complimentary review of your facility’s risks.

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