Raising the Profile of Facilities Management (FM) in Healthcare – Managing Performance of Infection Control

Njuangang, Stanley (2014) Raising the Profile of Facilities Management (FM) in Healthcare – Managing Performance of Infection Control. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a major problem in the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (UK). One reason for this is the failure of healthcare officials to tackle the root causes of HAIs. There is sufficient epidemiological evidence showing that HAIs can occur because of, inter alia, poor performance of Healthcare Maintenance (HM) services. Despite this link, HM has not received the level of attention it deserves from healthcare authorities. As a result, some HM managers do not measure the performance of HM services in infection control (IC). The aim of this research study therefore, is to improve the overall level of performance of HM services in the control of HAIs in the NHS. Hence, the adoption of six research objectives to identify the critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance measures in the control of maintenance-associated HAIs.

In addition to an in-depth literature review, a content analysis approach was adopted to establish the link between HM services and HAIs. Conversely, CSFs and performance measures in HM in IC were identified through the application of ground theory analysis. An exploratory case study was then conducted with two NHS trusts. The results of the exploratory case study revealed that some HM managers did not have the required knowledge to fulfil the research need of the study, i.e. development of the performance measurement system (PMS). Therefore, the Delphi approach was considered suitable to achieve the aforementioned need. In total, eight CSFs and fifty-three key performance measures are identified for reducing the burden of maintenance-associated HAIs in hospitals. For example, establishing clear lines of communication between the IC team and HM unit is crucial in the prevention of maintenance-associated HAIs in hospitals. Dust prevention is also identified by the healthcare experts as an important measure to prevent the transmission of maintenance-associated HAIs in high-risk patient areas.

Through the application of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach, the CSFs and key performance measures were categorised into a performance matrix. The result was then used to develop a performance measurement system (PMS) to control maintenance-associated HAIs. Both performance tools i.e. the BSC matrix and PMS could be applied by HM managers to reduce rates of maintenance-associated HAIs in hospitals.

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