Huntsville Center program meets defense department medical facility maintenance needs

Huntsville Center Installation Support and Programs Management Directorate
Published July 1, 2013
An example of pumps found in a mechanical room in a hospital. The OMEE program maintains the facility and performs preventative maintenance and repairs to these type pumps as well as other mechanical systems.

An example of pumps found in a mechanical room in a hospital. The OMEE program maintains the facility and performs preventative maintenance and repairs to these type pumps as well as other mechanical systems.

Inadequate maintenance of medical facility systems and real property installed equipment can have dire consequences, jeopardizing the welfare of patients often already weakened and more susceptible to infection or other medical complications.

The Operation and Maintenance Engineering Enhancement Program, administered by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, provides a simplified process to respond to the growing operation and maintenance needs of Department of Defense medical facilities.

The OMEE program applies a systematic approach to the operation and maintenance of medical facilities to make sure these facilities serve their intended function efficiently and safely, and to ensure medical facility components reach or exceed their life expectancy.

Other benefits derived from OMEE services are improved patient comfort and care, better working environment for the health care providers, easier compliance with codes and standards, reduced life safety violations, increased reliability of systems and equipment and better long-range planning.

OMEE has two suites of Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity service contracts that use low-cost, quick-response task orders to execute maintenance requirements for DoD installations worldwide. These contracts can provide scheduled maintenance, corrective maintenance, pest management, aseptic management, grounds maintenance, biomedical equipment maintenance and repair/replacement services in support of medical facilities. Medical facility systems maintained include all mechanical, electrical, architectural, utility and site systems, equipment and components.

The OMEE program contractors were selected for their experience and ability to perform in medical facilities and their knowledge of the Joint Commission and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care requirements along with other medical codes and standards. Relevant medical facility accreditation bodies, such as TJC, evaluate DoD healthcare facilities at least once every three years. Failure of any DoD medical facility to qualify under any or all of these standards may result in short- or long-term loss of DoD capacity to medically serve its patient population.

DoD medical facilities the OMEE program serves include: hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, veterinary facilities, dental treatment facilities, medical training and research facilities, utility and energy plants supporting medical facilities, labs and medical storage facilities. The OMEE program provides for medical O&M services over a facility footprint of nearly 22 million square feet at more than 60 DoD installations, ensuring the sustainment of safe, reliable facilities to support the growing medical needs of our war fighters, their families and retirees. Demands on the OMEE program have continued to grow, with contract obligations increasing approximately 20 percent per year in each of the past four years.

All indications are that this trend of ever-increasing medical facility sustainment requirements will continue in the near future. The TRICARE 2012 Military Health System Stakeholder’s Report describes a DoD patient population of greater than 9.7 million comprised of active duty military, reserve military personnel, military dependents, military retirees and others. TRICARE beneficiaries have increased by 500,000 in just the past five years.
The cumulative effects of 10 years of war continue to place a significant demand upon the DoD health care system and facilities. For example, behavioral health appointments among active duty and their dependents rose steadily from approximately 3 million in 2006 to 5.7 million in 2011. Increased in and outpatient numbers within the DoD health care system have translated into greater demands for the types of medical facility O&M services which the OMEE program can provide.

The scope of OMEE services is performance based (instead of the detailed descriptive statement of work) which results in the government and contractor working as a team to provide enhanced efficiency, cost savings, clear work requirements, superior performance and improved customer satisfaction. Task order awards are not solely based on low bids, but are the result of numerous selection and award factors. Since these ID/IQ contracts have numerous qualified contractors available to provide these services, the selected contractor has a vested interest to provide superior services that will ensure repeat task orders in the following years.

In addition to providing O&M services for DoD medical treatment facilities, the OMEE program also supports medical training and research facilities that help our troops be better prepared for combat. OMEE provides for facility O&M services at complex, one-of-a kind laboratories and test facilities, developing ways to prepare Soldiers for combat in all environmental conditions, or improving the protection of our troops from chemical and biological agents in the field.

The concept of “flexibility” underlies every aspect of the OMEE Program’s innovative methodology in contracting to provide O&M services.

Whether it is one-stop shopping, improved responsiveness, increased partnering or the contract’s yearly “option to renew,” the enhanced customer service is an integral part of the OMEE process. This process can and has opened new options for government facility managers.