XII Hospital Engineering Meeting: for continuous improvement in healthcare

On June 14 and 15, Zaragoza hosted the XII Hospital Engineering Meeting, an event organized by Redección Médica with the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Hospital Engineering (AEIH) and Carburos Metálicos.

 

The objective of this meeting was to enable a space for debate and exchange of ideas, reflections and proposals in the field of hospital engineers and architects, heads of engineering and maintenance services, heads of technical service, heads of studies and projects areas…

Gathered over two days, current issues in this area were once again shared in a meeting attended by the most representative members of this group.

With the Exe Boston hotel in the capital as headquarters, for two days, key representatives of the sanitary engineering sector debated and contributed to improving an essential part of the National Health System (SNS): the one that plans, manages and analyzes health environments.

 

 

 

Debates for cutting-edge Hospital Engineering

Among the main topics that were addressed, the following stood out:

 

 

On these topics it was possible to reflect and share opinions in more detail in several discussion tables.

 

On June 14 and 15, Zaragoza hosted the XII Hospital Engineering Meeting, an event organized by Redección Médica with the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Hospital Engineering (AEIH)

 

 

Green hydrogen and decarbonization

Green hydrogen production plants as a real alternative for hospitals in Europe was one of the items discussed at the XII Hospital Engineering Meeting.

During the debate it was indicated that this solution, which allows progress in decarbonization and accelerate the energy transition, is presented as one of the most promising options for the future.

Although it is a great energy alternative, its implementation also presents difficulties.

One of them, as explained by Antonio Fernández, member of the AEIH, is its high cost: while producing 1 kilogram of gray hydrogen costs 1 euro and blue hydrogen 1.5 euros, green hydrogen costs approximately 5 euros per kg. .

During his speech, the deputy director of Sustainability and Ecological Transition Management of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), Raúl Falcón, outlined the details of the H2HEAT project (Hydrogen from renewable energies for heating commercial buildings: demonstration of the entire chain of value), an initiative that contemplates the production and use of hydrogen from renewable marine sources that will be used for heating and electricity generation in the Insular Maternal and Child Hospital Complex of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

To solve the handicap of hydrogen transportation, Raúl Falcón put on the table the line of research that is being developed at the SCS on the use of methanol as a hydrogen carrier and its reforming in the hospital itself to generate heat, electricity and support to Mobility.

 

 

Remote air control boosts energy efficiency

Another of the topics addressed is related to how computerized systems have revolutionized the safety of air production plants through OSCs.

The integration of computerized systems, automation and the advanced use of artificial intelligence are transforming the operation of air production plants.

With a focus on remote control, these innovations have not only improved efficiency and operational safety, but have also set new standards in the Hospital Engineering industry, explained María Escamilla, production project director at Carburos Metálicos.

Specifically, the control of air separation units through fully computerized systems and automated instrumentation equipment has allowed the remote operation and control of the plants through the Operational Service Centers (OSCs).

Engineers and operators efficiently monitor and manage the plants from these centers. And, as Escamilla explained, they are equipped with advanced control interfaces that facilitate the supervision of multiple facilities simultaneously.

 

 

Hospital engineering demands more prominence

One of the questions raised at the meeting is whether engineers are really qualified to be hospital managers. 

The answer is yes, but they must have “hospital” specialization and the necessary training and experience. However, the debate should not stop there, since Hospital Engineering demands its own direction in hospitals, similar to those of Medicine or Nursing: ‘Technological Management’.

“Perhaps it is not so necessary for the manager to be an engineer. Rather, I consider it essential that there be engineering management at the same level as medical and nursing management, covering processes, infrastructure, computing, systems and data, and Bioengineering,” he explained. Juan José Pérez, president of the Medical and Health Engineering Commission of the Official College of Industrial Engineers of Madrid (Coiim).

 

 

 

A healthcare revolution called AI

Artificial intelligence brought the XII Hospital Engineering Meeting to a close.

The emergence of AI in hospitals has led us to reflect on the major technological changes that these health centers and their professionals will have to face so that this innovative tool becomes an ally.

To do this, two key conditions must be met.

Firstly, the data managed by hospitals must be of high quality, and secondly, it is crucial to guarantee training in this field for professionals.

Ana Gómez Galindo, deputy director of Management and General Services at La Paz University Hospital, stressed that the quality of the data is “essential” to process the information appropriately and for it to be useful in decision-making. “In hospitals, biomedical engineers or data analysts extract information from the electronic medical record, but, no matter how trained they are, if the data is not of quality, we will not obtain good algorithms,” she highlighted.

 

 

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