Metro Health Demonstrates Environmental Benefits
Posted: November 6, 2008
Metro Health Hospital was one of three facilities recently selected to show healthcare leaders how an improved physical environment can benefit a hospital’s business, patients and staff.
This fall, Michael Faas, president and chief executive officer of Metro Health Hospital, addressed nearly 40 C-level hospital executives during a conference in Kansas City, Mo. The conference was hosted by Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and services for hospitals, and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) for ACHE members.
Independent research shows that investing in a hospital’s physical environment pays off for healthcare facilities. Nearly 1,200 evidence-based design studies have directly connected the physical environment of the hospital with patient satisfaction, staff satisfaction, quality, productivity and financial performance
A decade ago, Metro Health Hospital was an osteopathic teaching hospital threatened by a merger of its two largest competitors. Having outgrown its existing facility, the hospital was blocked from expanding on its current site by its neighbors.
Taking a groundbreaking approach, they built the nation’s first healthcare village which provides an entire community of support services. The new 208-bed general acute care Metro Health Hospital is its focal point. The new facility is 40 percent larger with patient rooms that are twice the size of those in the old building. They used a green building approach, incorporating a healing environment and the latest technology.
Metro Health’s environmentally friendly features include a 48,500 square foot green roof, motion-sensitive lights and water conserving fixtures to improve air quality and energy efficiency. These features are part of the organization’s overall green initiatives. Metro Health hospital is the first full-service hospital in Michigan designed and built to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This certification is a national benchmark for construction and operation of high-performance, environmentally-friendly buildings.
"From paint, to lighting, layout and technical aspects, the new hospital was designed to create a healing environment and incorporate the needs of patients, visitors, physicians and staff," said Faas.
Since their move to the new facility in 2007, patient satisfaction is high, with 95 percent willing to recommend the hospital. Staff recruitment fair attendance has skyrocketed, up 1,000 percent. "We have almost 100 people every day applying to work at Metro. We’ve never had this before," said Faas.
This year, they received their best accreditation survey ever from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program. Additional awards have also recognized the hospital, including the Clean Corporate Citizen from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. They are the state’s first health system to receive this designation.
Overall, Faas deems the new facility a success. "We’re double where we thought we would be on everything but outpatient care," he said. "Metro health remains near the top nationally across almost all measures," said Faas.
Faas was one of three panelists who shared success stories about improving the physical environment of care by building a new hospital, moving to a new facility or rehabilitating an existing facility. The other panelists included Alan Kent, chief executive officer, Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia, Ga., and Joyce Beck, chief executive officer, Thayer County Health Services, Hebron, Neb.
 Validated by groups such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Trane has worked with health care facilities for over 40 years, providing a range of systems, services and solutions to optimize healing environments, improve patient outcomes, increase comfort levels of staff and patients, and optimize facility investment. Nearly half of all healthcare facilities in North America rely on Trane systems for their comfort needs.
Trane, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR), provides systems and services that enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings around the world. Through its two premium brands – Trane and American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning – the business offers a broad range of energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning solutions. Its systems and services comprise dehumidifying and air cleaning products; aftermarket service and parts support; advanced building controls; and building and financing solutions, including those that allow energy-efficient systems to pay for themselves through energy savings. Trane’s systems and services have leading positions in premium commercial, residential, institutional and industrial markets; a reputation for reliability, high quality and product innovation; and a powerful distribution network. The business has 35 plants in 10 countries and more than 29,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.trane.com/; www.americanstandardair.com; and http://www.ingersollrand.com/.
The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE is known for its prestigious credentialing and educational programs and its annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership, which draws more than 4,000 participants each year. ACHE is also known for its journals, the Journal of Healthcare Management and Frontiers of Health Services Management and its magazine, Healthcare Executive, as well as ground-breaking research and career development and public policy programs. ACHE’s publishing division, Health Administration Press, is one of the largest publishers of books and journals on all aspects of health services management in addition to textbooks for use in college and university courses. Through such efforts, ACHE works toward its goal of being the premier professional society for healthcare leaders by providing exceptional value to its members.