Blogs & Articles


Prioritizing Patient Safety Efforts Year-Round

Here at Medxcel, we pride ourselves in creating a safe environment for all of our patients, visitors and staff. We work to continuously prioritize patient safety each and every day of the year. While safety is always top of mind, the World Health Organization states that an estimated 134 million adverse events occur every year due to unsafe care in low- and mid-income countries. In high-income countries, such as the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving hospital care. Of these, nearly 50% are considered preventable.


How to Effectively Prepare for Infectious Disease Threats

With coronavirus dominating the headlines, it’s easy to forget that there are still many other infectious diseases affecting the lives of people today. Whether it’s a disease as new as the coronavirus or as common as the flu, it’s more crucial than ever that facility managers are prepared for anything. It’s not a question of whether an epidemic will occur or not, but when it will strike. Hospitals around the world must plan for every kind of possible outbreak, before it’s too late.


4 Ways Contract Work is Hurting your ROI

The new calendar year brings about exciting advancements and changes within the healthcare industry. With these changes come new regulations and other cost-consuming factors, and a new challenge arises: How do you reduce costs while improving patient satisfaction, increasing rate of efficiency, and continuing to boost revenue year after year?


CMS Updates Their Star Ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently refreshed their Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings. These ratings are on a five-star scale through Hospital Compare, a website that informs patients on how well hospitals are providing care in compliance with CMS. This allows patients to be informed when they are making decisions related to their healthcare.


3 Key Steps to Educating Healthcare Facility Staff

Maintaining regulatory compliance during the onboarding process for new employees can be a challenge, especially when procedures have been changed and staff is accustomed to doing processes a specific way. The pace or timing of changes can create confusion in the organization.


4 Tips for Designing a Pediatric Healthcare Unit

Children do much better in a pediatric unit created specifically for them – and when children do better, so do their families. Pediatric units are different than any other unit in your healthcare facility. After all, the tiny patients in these spaces not only require special care, but they require special design choices, too.


The Importance of a Computerized Maintenance Management System

When you step into a hospital, whether to start a workday, undergo a procedure, or visit a friend who is recovering, you may not think about all of the moving parts that keep a facility up and running. (Unless of course you’re the facilities manager!) Hospitals serve thousands of patients and visitors, control hundreds of different machines and continually support employees all day, every day. This means a facility’s infrastructure, maintenance machines and computer systems work overtime to accommodate necessary functionality.


Planning, Design & Construction: Three Services to Standardize Your Healthcare Facility

As of March 2019, there was approximately $400 million invested in simultaneous, ongoing healthcare remodeling projects. How do these healthcare facilities ensure their money is being put to good use? It comes down to three services – planning, design and construction – that lead the transformation of healthcare facilities from good to great.


Eight Practices For Faster Crisis Resolution in Healthcare Environments

Disasters can happen at any time. Severe storms, active shooters, disease outbreaks and other events are not as rare as they once may have seemed. When one of these incidents occurs at or near your healthcare facility, how do you respond? Being prepared for an emergency is vital for the functionality of healthcare facilities and their ability to serve patients when disaster strikes.


10 steps to workplace violence reduction

In 2014, a 68-year-old patient pulled a bar from the side of his hospital bed and attacked a team of nurses at a Minnesota hospital. In 2018, a hospital shooting in Chicago — which left two innocent healthcare workers and a law enforcement officer dead — made national headlines and heightened healthcare leaders’ concerns about violence in the healing environment.


Telehealth and Facilities Management

The practice of doctors making house calls to see patients in their own homes was popular back in the 1930s and 40s. In fact, house calls accounted for 40% of U.S. doctors’ visits at the time. Medical professionals would arrive at a patient’s home at a moment’s notice, bringing with them all the tools they needed to provide the best care (the “best care” for the 40s, that is). As house calls have become virtually nonexistent today, who would have thought they’d make a virtual comeback?


What a 5-star rating from CMS means for your patients and your facilities teams

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings on a five-star scale through Hospital Compare. Hospital Compare is a website for healthcare consumers that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions about where to go for their healthcare needs.


Building automation systems do more to help hospitals work smarter, not harder

Hospitals are complex environments with many active systems. One of the least understood - and one of the most expensive - is the building automation system (BAS). As technology continues to advance, we are seeing more systems become integrated into the building automation system, such as fire alarms, power monitoring, lighting control and security. The benefits from a well-programmed BAS ensure operational performance, which can reduce energy costs and keep patients, visitors and staff comfortable.


Want to improve the patient experience? Start with employee engagement.

Defined as employees who are “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace,” employee engagement is an integral part of everything that happens in and around a healthcare facility. If that description doesn’t sound like the employees in your facility, you might have some employees who are disengaged.


Be prepared: Healthcare facility readiness for public surveys

In May 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would be making all survey results from accrediting organizations, such as The Joint Commission (TJC), public. This unprecedented decision redefined the healthcare landscape – empowering healthcare consumers to make a more informed decision on where to receive care.


How Hospitals can Mitigate Vendor Risks to Combat Non-Compliance Requirements

All hospitals strive to establish and maintain a safe, functional environment, but 100% compliance is not as easy as it seems. Having an environment that provides the best possible care to patients is a common goal for caregivers and executives alike. However,  many hospitals surveyed by the Joint Commission in 2018 were non-compliant with this requirement.


Wake up and smell the roses: why landscaping is important for your business

We don’t usually think of hospitals and making a sale going together; however, the curb appeal is usually the first impression the community receives. 


Opioid abuse and workplace violence: Is there a correlation?

Workplace violence, including physical assaults and threats of assault toward people at work or on duty, is a growing issue within the healthcare setting. 


How healthcare facilities can prepare for a tornado before it hits

When a tornado strikes, healthcare facilities are in a unique position. Hospitals are regarded as safe havens and are expected to provide patient care and protection 24/7 during an emergency.


3 tips for combatting healthcare staffing shortages

The gap in the skills trade industry continues to widen as baby boomers age out of the workforce and future generations take their place. With staffing shortages on the horizon, what can healthcare facilities do to retain their staff?


Patients Over Paperwork: 3 Ways to Utilize CMS’s Reduced Burdens

Less red tape means less paperwork, and more time for everything else. How can healthcare facilities take advantage of CMS’s reduced burdens?


The Importance of Compliance Assessments Before and During New Construction

Healthcare providers have to consistently keep up with new rules, regulations and advisories in their practices. 


Suicide Risk: Ligature & New TJC Safety Goal

The holidays are over, so we’re settling into the winter doldrums before spring returns. While some may think we’re moving away from the season where suicides are prevalent, suicide rates actually peak in springtime, rather than winter. According to Neel Burton, M.D., “This is probably because the rebirth that marks springtime accentuates feelings of hopelessness in those already suffering with it.”


4 methods to protect healthcare organizations and staff against workplace violence

Workplace violence. For healthcare workers, it can be as simple as a patient grabbing a nurse or an associate being bullied by co-workers. Unfortunately, it can also be as grave as a deadly assault. No matter the severity, it’s vital that healthcare organizations find effective measures to eliminate violence and protect their workforce.


Holiday Hazards: Eight Practices for Faster Holiday-Related Crisis Resolution in Healthcare

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joyous celebration with family, friends and loved ones. However, no amount of holiday cheer can prepare your facility for the amount of crises that can arise during the season.


Medxcel Awarded "Elite 8" Designation from Achievers' 50 Most Engaged Workplaces

It’s an honor for Medxcel to be recognized for our corporate culture, and we are proud to have been recognized as one of the nation’s most engaged workplaces through the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in North America award for the third year in a row.


3 tips for minimizing regulatory overload

Federal legislation is implemented to ensure superior, safe and reliable patient care. However, for many healthcare organizations, new regulation can feel more like a headache than anything else. More recently, everyone from clinical staff members to facilities managers have seen an increased amount of time spent on regulatory compliance.


Avoiding CEOs’ biggest fears: Aging workforce and succession planning

Becker’s Hospital Review reported in 2017 that developing the next generation of leaders who have the skills to remake the business is one of the leading concerns among 555 surveyed CEOs. The top worry? Their ability to retain and attract premier talent for the succession.


Medxcel named one of the nation's most engaged workplaces for third consecutive year

This prestigious award identifies top employers that display superior leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces and employees.


Value formula for high-performing healthcare facilities

Healthcare leaders are often tasked with seeking new ways to do, earn and serve more to sustain and improve performance-related business outcomes. In the hospital setting, it’s easy to first think of the patient audience and healing environment; however, without a highly engaged workforce, the healing environment suffers.


Three Days, Three Presentations: The 56th ASHE Annual Conference

Each summer, Medxcel executives look forward to participating in the ASHE Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition. This year they travelled to Seattle to attend the 56th annual conference July 14-17. This conference, held by The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), gives major healthcare facility management and engineering professionals a platform to brainstorm, share ideas, and network. Not only did Medxcel executives attend the ASHE Annual Conference, they gave two presentations and participated in an expert panel regarding the optimization of healthcare facilities’ physical environments. Learn more about their three presentations below.


Weathering the storm: 4 key components of disaster preparedness

During last year’s catastrophic hurricane season, it wasn’t luck that kept many coastal hospitals functional: it was preparation. However, while some hospitals could continue to provide adequate medical care through the destruction, others weren’t able to overcome the delayed or interrupted medical care.


Standardization as a Compliance Advantage for Healthcare Facilities

You’re familiar with standardization as an efficiency tactic, but a compliance advantage? In reality, the documented impact of large-scale standardization on regulatory compliance can be dramatic.


Countering issue blindness and staying ahead of the curve in facilities regulatory compliance

It’s tough enough to keep your facilities survey-ready, but even more so when regulators implement changes and you’re scrambling to adjust before you’re hit with a survey finding. With regulatory requirements, you’re either behind the gun or ahead of the curve - there’s really no in-between. 


Policy Check: Don't forget about the little guys

In September of 2016 the Federal Register posted the final rule on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers. The regulation went into effect in November of 2016 and healthcare providers and suppliers falling under this new rule were required to comply by implementing regulations by November of 2017.  


Looking through the frosted glass

Imagine for a minute, that you aren’t an executive in a healthcare organization.  Your child was just admitted to the local hospital with severe breathing problems.  The doctors and nurses have been in and out of that hospital room many times, running tests, hooking up IVs and checking oxygen levels.  The feeling of helplessness has overcome you, because naturally all parents just want their children to be healthy and happy, no matter what their age is.   


6 Steps for a Patient-Focused Active Shooter Plan

Not long ago, a cardiologist was shot at a hospital in Massillon, Ohio, by a gunman who then took his own life. It was one of three active shooter incidents reported by news media in the span of one week. No longer under the delusion that “this type of violence would never happen at our facility,” hospital leaders are increasingly anxious to establish or upgrade their active shooter plan — as they should.


How to Prepare for Infectious & Contagious Diseases

An infectious disease is a disorder caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. A contagious disease is an infectious disease communicable by contact with one who has it.  Below you will find need-to-know information for an influenza, West Nile, Zika or other infectious disease outbreaks within a healthcare environment. 


Transforming Raw Data into Actionable Information for Efficient Healthcare Facilities

Much of the groundwork for maintaining and delivering successful value-added services begins with technology. From the C-Suite all the way down to the techs onsite, healthcare organizations are deeply reliant on data and technology. However, technology is only as good as the people who leverage it, so is it a powerful asset or a great hindrance for facilities management operations? 


6 Considerations for Healthcare Facilities in Wildfire-Struck Communities

Nearly a month after the Thomas Fire started, California families and businesses remain on edge as the wind-whipped fires and smoke consume their communities. Already, the fires have destroyed at least 1,024 structures and damaged 250 more, reported CBS. "We are still on guard," fire information officer Rudy Evenson told CBS. "It's been a very unpredictable fire and we just don't know what these winds are going to do." 


2017: A Year in Review with Medxcel FM

2017 marked another incredible year for Medxcel Facilities Management, full of amazing achievements and successes. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we thought we would share the highlights with you.


Improving Environment of Care Compliance, Patient Safety & Satisfaction

One of the most asked questions of hospital leaders is “How can our hospital avoid getting requirements for improvement (RFIs)?” Mark Pelletier, The Joint Commission’s Chief Operating Officer for Accreditation and Certification Operations, had a simple answer in an article he wrote: “Take a good look at your environment of care and life safety areas.” Although the regulatory landscape has shifted significantly since Pelletier wrote those words back in 2014, environment of care and life safety remain the heaviest cited areas during a survey to this day.  


When Contracts Hurt: Considering Two Workforce Scenarios for Healthcare Facilities

As the healthcare terrain shifts, a growing number of healthcare facilities are learning that replacing full-time employees with external service contracts is a great way to amass needless expenses and inefficiencies in the long run — even if the short-term savings look great on their balance sheet. 


3 Budget Pitfalls in Healthcare Facilities

With each passing year, profitability becomes harder to achieve for healthcare facilities. After all, patient care, safety and satisfaction all take money — lots of it. Regrettably, common cost-cutting tactics end up costing healthcare facilities far more down the road in dollars, inefficiencies, and quality slip-ups.  
In this article, we highlight three perceived “savings” that will come back to bite you.


What’s New (or False) About the Flu: Doing Your Part for a Safe Healing Environment

Given your role in providing a safe healing environment for patients, it’s important to clear up what’s new and what’s downright false about the flu, so you and your team don’t unknowingly put patients (and each other) at risk for a nasty bout of the illness. 


Regulatory Changes: 3 Frequent Survey Findings

As regulations change, one way to help ensure a successful survey is paying attention to findings at other facilities — particularly those in your region. If other hospitals are getting “dinged” for a particular deficiency, it’s only smart to preemptively address those same issues in your own hospital before a surveyor walks through your doors.


3 Steps for a High-ROI Human Capital Strategy

Think the skills gap is bad now?
Older workers are retiring in droves, at the tune of 10,000 each day, driving what one media outlet dubbed the “Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis.” Many of your facilities workers are poised to join that number, taking their skills and organizational knowledge with them. That’s not even counting the workforce damage healthcare facilities have suffered from downsizing, siloed functions, and fragmented recruiting. 


How to botch your succession plan: 3 mistakes that will cost you

Planning for tomorrow’s workforce tends to hang low in the list of emergencies, distractions and to-do’s fighting for your attention each day. But have you contemplated your facilities management workforce lately? Chances are many of your employees are nearing retirement, eyeing a new job, or lacking the skills you’ll need in a not-so-distant future. 


Gaps, Prep Essentials for the Next Infectious Disease Outbreak

Healthcare facilities around the world are woefully unprepared for the next infectious disease outbreak, concluded a recent report published by the British Medical Journal. Here in the U.S., inadequacies in managing outbreaks were plain to see in past responses. 


The Joint Commission: Top 6 Failures Contributing to Violence in Healthcare Settings

Violence in healthcare settings is underreported and growing, warns The Joint Commission (TJC).
With that in mind, TJC recently updated an alert first issued in 2010, highlighting top six “contributing causal factors,” or failures by healthcare facilities that contributed to violent incidents in recent years.  


Severe Weather Preparedness: 4 Foundational Components

Approximately 98% of presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to approximately 500 deaths and $15 billion in damages annually. When disaster strikes a community, the healthcare facility is a crucial asset in the response and recovery of the community.  


Connecting the Dots Between Value and Metrics

We often think of metrics as straight-forward, devoid of ambivalence, bias or misinterpretation, but you know better: Data can take on new meanings depending on how it’s presented, or by whom.


Associate Engagement as a Revenue Enhancer

At many healthcare facilities, associate engagement is an untapped means of enhancing revenue, and one already available to you.
An associate who feels valued will always do more than required, consider what’s best for the organization as they make decisions, and stick around for the long run. 


Active Shooter Preparedness for Healthcare Facilities

The following infographic addresses planning and response strategies, along with the importance of preparedness through training and effective communications during a crisis. 


The Hospital Administrator’s Impact & Responsibility for the Physical Environment

Code compliance is changing, placing greater responsibility for the physical environment squarely on the shoulders of hospital administrators. 


4 New Challenges Driving Costs & Safety Violations at Healthcare Facilities

The healthcare terrain has shifted dramatically over the past few years, and evolving regulation and market behavior continue to bring new challenges you didn’t have to worry about just a few years ago. In facilities management, four obstacles can cause costs and safety violations to mount, unless hospital leaders are aware and equipped to tackle them effectively. 


How Optimized FTEs Boost Revenue

As you strategize to make the coming year better (and more profitable) than the last, you’ll be tasked with finding new ways to get more done while cutting costs—again


How Healthcare Facilities Are Losing Money “Behind the Wall”

In the endless effort to boost revenue, many healthcare organizations reserve their dollars for high-visibility, high-ROI areas, postponing or cutting corners in hard-to-see facility improvements—only to learn delaying those investments multiplies costs in the long run. Not only that, but the practice puts the organization’s compliance, patient safety and experience at risk—not to mention reimbursements.


Wasteful or Essential?

When your facilities team comes to you seeking funding for new tools, services or changes to your facilities environment, how do you discern the essential from the wasteful? Put another way, how do you capture the right context and severity of those requests, and weigh them against cost-reduction goals?


A Year in Review with Medxcel FM

2016 was a BIG year for us and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you.


Disaster Preparedness: Managing a Healthy Healing Environment amidst a Wildfire

We, amongst everyone else in the nation, have been keeping a close eye on the impact of the wildfires ripping through the Smoky Mountains.  The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have been putting their disaster preparedness plans in action and working tirelessly to contain the disaster, but a wildfire of this magnitude has everyone on edge, hoping for no casualties and feeling heartbroken over the damage that has already been caused. 


Keeping Your Healing Environment Safe amongst the Tinsel and Trees

The holidays are typically a time of year full of joy and cheer, and the twinkle lights, sparkly garland and ornaments seem to get most of us into the holiday spirit. However, holiday decorations do pose a severe fire threat if not properly controlled. If you are not careful, this joyous season could create hazards that impact the safety and compliance of your facility. 


When Disasters Strike: 3 Indispensable Practices for Patient Safety, Business Continuity & Financial Health

Just days before the CMS flips the switch on its new emergency preparedness requirements, we’ve been reminiscing about seemingly harmless oversights that can backfire in big ways, increasing risks to patients, hospital operations and revenue in the event of a disaster.
In this article we list three habits your organization must cultivate to avoid common tripwires that can worsen conditions as you go into crisis mode.


3 Emergency Management Missteps That Sink Profits, Put Patients and Facilities at Risk

From storms to hurricanes and floods, natural disasters have ravaged many communities in recent years, prompting the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue new emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers, effective in November, 2016.



Compressed Remediation Timelines

Many hospitals face the same challenges when it comes to maintaining a safe environment and avoiding ‘dings’ from a compliance survey, declining resources remaining one of the most difficult obstacles.  The priority to effectively manage and remediate compliance issues in-between surveys should resonate high amongst healthcare leaders, especially now with shortened remediation timelines enforced by The Joint Commission.  Now it’s time to navigate through the impact these changes are having on your facility and how you can manage them.


First Surveyor Impressions: Key Indicators You'll Likely Nail (Or Fail) Your Facility Regulatory Survey

Within minutes of walking into your facility and talking with your staff, experienced surveyors have a very good idea whether you’ll nail or fail your facility regulatory survey. Document disorganization is a window into a program’s dysfunction, it’s hard to hide and seasoned surveyors invariably grow attuned to signs of a problematic facilities program.


How to Rein in Your Top Operating Costs

Facilities management can often seem like a role that goes unnoticed.  On the one hand, you are responsible for some of the most important aspects of healthcare, such as patient safety, customer satisfaction, a well-maintained physical environment, and the provision of the resources your hospital staff needs for successful outcomes. Yet, behind the scenes, you are constantly under pressure to control costs, find new efficiencies and do more with less—all without jeopardizing the effective operation of your facility.


The State of the Industry? Challenging, as usual.

Controlling costs is a big challenge for healthcare executives now more than ever.  In this article we will illustrate the most obvious challenges and ways to rethink how to approach facilities management in order to contain costs and improve efficiency in your facility.  

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Esther Lawson

About Us

Medxcel Facilities Management enables healthcare providers to optimize their facility assets, systems and in-house capabilities, while reducing expenses. Built by and for healthcare, Medxcel Facilities Management’s solutions are being implemented in Ascension Health facilities nationwide.