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By Dave Clifton
You’d be hard-pressed to find facilities more technologically equipped than hospitals and other healthcare environments. Today, the practice of caregiving is as much dependent on facilities and assets as it is on the physicians and nurses actually delivering it. To care for patients, hospitals need to also care for facilities. In that sense, an investment in healthcare CMMS is an investment in better patient care.
A healthcare CMMS puts vital upkeep and maintenance at the forefront of broader facilities management. It paves the way for accessibility across facilities by ensuring the amenities within them and the systems that govern them work as-expected for doctors, patients, visitors, and anyone else relying on them. A single-source of maintenance and upkeep also allows in-house maintenance staff to get ahead of potential problems, to prevent trouble from cropping up in much-used areas of facilities.
A healthcare CMMS solution allows hospitals and other facilities to put more of their attention on caregiving and patient care, without worrying about whether facilities will support them.
What is healthcare CMMS used for?
A healthcare CMMS is primarily used to ensure repair and maintenance tasks get their due attention. This can mean everything from schedule upkeep to immediate repairs, starting from the submission of a support ticket to assigning that task and allocating the expense. It’s meant to ensure upkeep and repairs don’t get lost in the ethers, so that healthcare providers can continue to rely on the facilities and amenities around them.
Below the surface, healthcare CMMS systems are actually cost-saving budgeting tools that help control the ever-rising cost of healthcare facility maintenance. Especially in larger hospitals and healthcare buildings that see thousands of visitors each day, there needs to be consistent focus on cost control. Healthcare CMMS helps facility maintenance managers review costs, plan for expenses, budget projects, allocate to different cost centers, and optimize the use of man-hours and resources.
At the end of the day, a healthcare CMMS serves as the framework for facilitating maintenance and doing it efficiently. With the cost of healthcare already high and demand even higher, keeping facilities working properly is paramount.
The benefits of healthcare CMMS software
Because it’s the standard for all maintenance actions within the healthcare environment, a CMMS quickly becomes a source of truth and action for those responsible for upkeep. This can include recognizing proactive maintenance opportunities, reducing servicing costs, and ensuring critical amenities get due attention in a timely manner. Here’s a look at the broad benefits that accompany CMMS use:
- Better budgeting for recurring and routine repairs and maintenance
- Better cost allocation and expensing to different cost centers
- Expedited time to repair for support tickets and maintenance requests
- Improved planning for capital improvements and large projects
- More organized ticketing and task allocation through a CMMS
- Archived repair and maintenance tickets for reference in the future
- Access to prior servicing data and notes, to facilitate better future service
- Automations to reduce time, cost, and manpower affiliated with repairs
Above all, these benefits translate into facilities that work as-expected, when needed. If a handicap-accessible entrance isn’t functional or the nurse paging system on the second floor is down, it directly impacts patients. Having these issues front and center in a CMMS ensures they’re dealt with and better-understood, so that there are fewer problems like them in the future.
How to implement a healthcare CMMS
Most healthcare facilities already have some sort of digital maintenance software. Unfortunately, legacy systems aren’t always cloud-enabled or broadly compatible with increasingly smart healthcare infrastructure. To capitalize on modern-day CMMS, hospital facility managers need to orchestrate a complete migration.
Migration can occur in many different ways, depending on the scope of data involved in the transfer. In some cases, it may be a simple import-export of data that takes place in stages, to ensure a proper port. In other cases, it may involve an extract, transform, and load (ETL) procedure, where data feeds into a data lake or structured warehouse before flowing into the new CMMS. Sometimes, a direct port is possible. In any case, it’s imperative there’s no data loss and that operations aren’t interrupted during the switch.
For facilities establishing a completely new CMMS, detail-oriented setup is imperative. That means taking the time to orchestrate information about each asset, maintenance and cost center information, and more. Triggers and hierarchy programming should also be a focus, to automate as much of the workflows coming into the CMMS as possible. Integration is also imperative—especially for healthcare facilities with IoT networks and other networked systems that offer relevant data for the CMMS.
Above all, it’s important to build failsafe and redundant systems into the CMMS, to ensure every critical system gets due attention during implementation and beyond.
The bottom line on healthcare CMMS software
As healthcare facilities become more robust, so must the management of these facilities. Moreover, demand for healthcare is at an all-time high and rising, which means facilities will get put to the test as more people seek care. To meet the needs and expectations of patients, healthcare professionals need to be able to rely on the facilities around them.
CMMS software brings facility maintenance, upkeep, and repairs to the forefront of managing a successful healthcare establishment. From urgent care facilities to specialty clinics, hospitals to general care offices, when facilities support caregiving, everyone benefits.
Keep reading: Hospital Facility Management Software and the Patient Experience