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.
This isn’t always perfectly streamlined, unfortunately. With multiple maintenance systems working 24/7 and independently from one another, maintenance teams can encounter more than a few headaches.
Enter Computerized Maintenance Management Systems, or CMMS. Over the last decade, facilities across the U.S. have been implementing CMMS software to lower repair costs, ease work order management, boost productivity, meet compliance standards, and increase daily efficiency, all while ensuring the hospital functions at its best. How could a CMMS benefit your organization?
- Reduce maintenance costs.
With rising ambulatory and boutique healthcare services, one healthcare organization can have multiple clinical departments and even different locations – all serviced by just one maintenance team. Developing and maintaining a solid foundation and alignment between departments like ER, OR or labs can be difficult and lead to inefficiencies or gaps in care.
Instead of having one maintenance team handle all departments of a hospital or healthcare system, a CMMS creates one system-wide overview, providing a big picture of the organization and its current inventory.
For example, a CMMS tells us how much current equipment is present in a facility, each piece’s criticality, and the cost associated with every individual part to fix or replace it. Without a CMMS, inventory may not be clearly defined, leading to a multitude of problems down the road like delays, production downtime and higher costs. In turn, a CMMS checks for preventative maintenance, reducing overall healthcare costs by utilizing less labor over time.
Alleviate regulatory overload.
There are 629 discrete regulatory requirements across nine regulatory domains in healthcare. No wonder facility leaders can feel overwhelmed. CMMS is a beneficial solution that alleviates the burden of regulation and compliance requirements.
Different regulatory bodies require different survey periods. With a CMMS, the maintenance team is notified automatically of continual required testing without having to scramble to make sure everything is up-to-date in the weeks or days before an anticipated Joint Commission (TJC) survey.
A commonly tested and highly regulated example includes fire safety. Depending on the type, fire pumps are required to be tested either weekly, monthly or annually. Instead of tracking these tests manually in a spreadsheet – or worse, with pen and paper – a computerized system sets up recurring tests, allowing the organization to track current data, see future trends and know when the next test will take place. This means maintenance teams are aware of and alerted to required testing and associated costs so there are no surprises. A CMMS also tracks the system’s full history and forecasts any preventative maintenance, letting the team focus on other pertinent tasks.
Create a culture of accountability.
TJC has exacting standards to ensure compliance is routinely met. Reports must be 100% completed by a certain time, and those results and statistics are shared with both The Joint Commission committee and the healthcare organization as a whole. By managing projects through a CMMS, a facility’s maintenance team has the ability to track both personnel and maintenance daily to see common trends.
Even better, since all data is stored electronically, maintenance teams can look at their work log to see project closure rates for preventative maintenance. By monitoring preventative maintenance statistics, managers can see where gaps lie in project completion rates and work with personnel to make adjustments.
CMMS is designed to help healthcare maintenance teams carry out their jobs more efficiently. It lowers overall costs, maintains continual compliance and creates a culture of accountability amongst the organization. Managing multiple healthcare systems is a full-time job, but with a CMMS, it doesn’t have to be.