Commissioning of New and Extended Facilities

What is Commissioning?

This definition of commissioning addresses the traditional concept of commissioning a new hospital facility or extension to an existing facility, but as health care has developed, the need for standards and high quality has increased.

Vivalon Global Health's processes address all concepts required to make a facility operational. A properly commissioned building still does not incorporate the high-tech equipment typically found in hospitals, the expertise required to manage, maintain and provide health care services, or the policies, procedures and other documentation of the organisation required to make it functional. Commissioning, from our perspective, should include all aspects required before the first patient enters the system.

Commissioning is a systematic process of assuring by verification and documentation, from the design phase to a minimum of one year after construction, that all building facility systems perform interactively in accordance with the design documentation and intent, and in accordance with the hospital’s operational needs, including preparation of operation personnel” 

Ellis, 2003, p. 1

A commissioning process should start as early as the design process of the facility, and extend into admission of the first patient.

The following tasks are part of the commissioning consultancy:

Assist in the development and defining the hospital design criteria
Evaluate the design for conformance to criteria
Develop verification tests, if not available, and perform and document these tests
Prepare system documentation
Prepare a final report
Prepare preventative maintenance programs
Implement operator training programs.

It is typical for organisations to build basic operator training into contracts with vendors of equipment, but it is essential to ensure that training is documented, verified, and that staff can actually operate the equipment proficiently. The same principle applies to the engineering and biomedical engineering departments, where staff need to understand the composition, working and basic maintenance systems and equipment.

Documentation related to commissioning forms the core, or backbone for the organisation. These documents will always be required by accreditation organisations or by new vendors when upgrades or changes to existing systems are necessary. Policies and procedures, systems and processes that are referred to in this document, are often available from the internet, or through well-established accredited organisations. Most important to remember, is that no policy or procedure written for one organisation, can be used unchanged in another facility.

Every document that an organisation presents as its own, has to be customised to fit the particular situation.

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