Dartmouth-Hitchcock needed to replace FMDesktop with an application that was easy-to-use and adaptable to future needs.
About Dartmouth Hitchcock
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in academic medicine, particularly in evidence-based and patient-centered health care, medical research, and health care policy reform. Their system includes hundreds of physicians, specialists, and other providers who work together to meet the health care needs of more than 1.5 million patients in Northern New England. Patients have access to specialists in almost every area of medicine with primary care services at local community practices, as well as world-class research at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Facility Management Background
Between 1991-2005, computer aided facility management (CAFM) tasks at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) were performed by a primitive CAD software plug-in. In 2005, D-H Engineering Services obtained approval for a dedicated CAFM application and selected FMDesktop. In 2006, Autodesk acquired FMDesktop from the original developers, Applied Spatial Technologies, and made it their flagship CAFM application. However, in 2009, Autodesk scuttled FMDesktop due to competing interests which left Andrew Houghton, Project Design Manager at D-H, searching for a suitable replacement system.
“We needed to replace FMDesktop with an easy to use application,” said Houghton. There are many over-the-top CAFM vendors out there, but our organization already has enterprise software for functions like HR; we knew we didn’t want all that.”
“Our objective was to replace FMDesktop with a new application that would allow us to continue to support the reporting needs of the engineering, finance, and facility management departments,” added Houghton. “The software had to be easy to use and adaptable to future needs.”
Some of the many issues that forced D-H to search for a replacement for FMDesktop:
- All support for FMDesktop had been withdrawn by Autodesk since 2009; there was no one to call for assistance.
- FMDesktop relied on out-of-date CAD software and was therefore stranded on their oldest PC.
- It was not practical to train new staff to use FMDesktop under the circumstances.
- Failure of the software would require reverting to a manual system.
Requirements and selection criteria for the new CAFM system included:
- Ability to create shaded floor plans based on database queries.
- Facilitation of engineering compliance reporting needs
- Intuitive interface that was truly easy to use.
- Robust, easy-to-use reporting capabilities, including reporting on space attributes.
- Scalability to make it easy and affordable to add future seats.
- Scalability such that the solution would meet expanded database needs in the future.
Why Evolve FM?
After evaluating several facility management software applications, Evolve FM™ from CAFM Resources turned out to be the best fit for Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s needs at an affordable price. D-H selected Evolve FM because:
- D-H is familiar and comfortable with the people who will set-up, train, and support them with Evolve FM
- Evolve FM is offered as a SaaS solution: it is browser based and does not require locally installed software, nor does it require a local server and the associated support
- Evolve FM offers a clean and intuitive user interface
- Evolve FM provides sophisticated graphical reporting including themed floor plans
- Evolve FM offers nonproprietary data files (industry standard CAD format and Excel); the database is MS SQL
- D-H can link existing CAD objects to the database
Implementing Evolve FM
“Internally, we have deans and administrators who are looking to see how much space their particular organization has while they try to understand their growth and D-H stakeholders need reports showing gross square footage. Space management is the most critical function for D-H’s reporting needs, particularly for Medicare reimbursements and departmental space utilization: this is where Evolve FM will initially be focused. D-H may also introduce EvolveFM to their housekeeping department to replace a primitive application that’s being used to manage flooring replacement and staff assignments.
Little work was needed to migrate from FMDesktop to Evolve FM. D-H’s integrator, Simple Solutions FM, handled much of the process, including migrating data and drawings. Because D-H had an active installation of FMDesktop, all of their buildings were already contained in reasonably accurate AutoCAD® drawings. Though Evolve FM is compatible with both AutoCAD drawing and Autodesk® Revit® building information models, D-H currently sees no driving factors to migrate to Revit in the near term D-H is currently in a situation where they have to do more with less. “We are currently focused on using Evolve FM to manage our Lebanon, NH properties,” said Houghton. “But I can see us introducing it to our colleagues in the southern region of the state as soon as time permits.”
Benefits of Evolve FM
The current Evolve FM implementation has already produced tangible operational improvements for Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “We can share maintenance duties with a colleague, provide better looking graphical reports and get information out to our stakeholders faster,” said Houghton. “We are set up as a condominium with the hospital, medical school, and clinic as separate owners. Evolve FM allows us to do utility charge backs as well as operation and maintenance cost sharing.”