The healthcare industry is constantly changing. In 2016, many hospitals will better structure how they take care of equipment and infrastructure.
From handling patients to managing data, facilities will become more efficient.
Keeping up with these changes requires a solution for tracking maintenance. This is exactly why healthcare facilities are turning toward Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).
3 Examples of CMMS within Healthcare
CMMS allows staff to store information about physical assets.
At its foundation, CMMS is a repository for maintenance data. It collects the information that keeps the facility running smoothly. What makes CMMS special is that its ability to store data can be expanded as more automation enters healthcare facilities.
Here are two examples of standard problems in the healthcare industry that CMMS can solve, followed by a third that you might consider down the line:
1) There is a limited number of wheelchairs in a single facility.
Wheelchairs must be properly maintained and reliable. A CMMS can track details on each wheelchair so facility staff will always have one ready for a patient. Any repairs are scheduled ahead of time. CMMS tracks information such as:
- How many are available
- The age of each equipment piece
- Notes on warranties and repairs
- If more need to be ordered
A staff member enters all the general information on a facility’s wheelchairs during CMMS implementation. The system allows multiple users to submit updates and enter new information on these wheelchairs as well.
2) Patients are sensitive to temperature changes.
Temperature and humidity control is important to patients, and many hospitals have a reputation for being uncomfortably cold. Recent enhancements to HVAC units allow these systems to intelligently control heating and cooling, leading to fewer complaints.
With hardware upgrades, more information is stored automatically. The machines are able to communicate their condition directly to the CMMS. These systems can often be automated to adjust for temperature and humidity changes without any human intervention.
Sensors can be placed by a facility’s doors and windows to account for drafts and sudden temperature changes, allowing the system to always maintain the best temperature.
How they Compare
Both examples depend on storing the right information, but do so differently.
The first example involves preventive measures so there’s never an unexpected problem with equipment, while the second example relies on condition-based measures.
In other words, the second example requires a hardware upgrade with sensors throughout the building. This allows staff to track the condition of specific assets.
It doesn’t take much creativity to see how these enhancements can be applied throughout a hospital. Consider a third innovative example that combines the first two:
3) A facility must keep track of metrics on enhanced beds.
With recent facility upgrades, hospitals are looking into ordinary equipment pieces that capture extraordinary information.
Inpatient beds that are able to automatically monitor an occupant’s temperature, heart rate and blood pressure allow staff to easily care for patient health throughout a hospital.
This type of enhancement involves a physical asset that a CMMS could track, but also sensitive patient information that an Electronic Health Record (EHR) would typically store. These two popular systems can be integrated together. This way, a hospital can keep track of the information in a secure central database that can also be easily accessed by both nursing and maintenance staff.
These technology upgrades are part of a phenomenon called the Internet of Things.
Physical things all around us are being updated to communicate what’s happening around them. From HVAC units monitoring temperature and humidity, to a bracelet that counts a person’s steps, information is being tracked on a wireless grid.
Many breakthrough inventions can be applied this way within a healthcare facility, but haven’t yet been tested according to industry standards.
With CMMS, if a facility isn’t ready to make any major upgrades, maintenance data is still saved for analysis. If the facility wants to look into upgrades down the line, the decision can be better made.
Condition-based enhancements were once only possible for the largest asset-focused organizations. Now, these upgrades are much less expensive and have even more practical uses across industries.
CMMS allows organizations to easily collect information, saving time and money by making a maintenance operation more efficient.
Healthcare facilities can take advantage of these trends, implementing more effective procedures that benefit staff and patients.