January 06, 2014
The 15 Best Things CMMS Can Do For Your Medical Clinic
A proper computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can benefit any company that has equipment or machinery that needs maintaining, repairs, and eventually, replacement. These types of software can not only help keep your equipment running smoothly, but they also save you time, money, and can even prevent instances of liability. One place that is often overlooked when the benefits of a good CMMS are considered is the hospital and other healthcare facilities. Below I have outlined some ways that maintenance management software can benefit facility managers in a healthcare environment.
Tracking Assets and Equipment
It goes without saying that healthcare facilities have a TON of moving parts. Think about it - have you ever been admitted to the emergency room or visited a friend of the family member under a doctor's care? If you have, then you have not only seen the amount of equipment they have at their bedside but often they will share the room with another patient, who has the same amount of - if not more - equipment. Now multiply that times "x" number of rooms, times "x" number of floors, not to mention backup equipment and offsite machinery. That is a lot to keep track of!
Track Vehicles and Vehicle Maintenance
When we think of a CMMS, we do not always think about it with regards to vehicles, but this is another important area where a CMMS benefits a hospital. How do you track your ambulances and emergency vehicles? How do you keep track of what maintenance has been done or needs to be done? A CMMS can help you with this as well.
While we are on the subject of tracking, let's not forget medication. Keeping a record of your facilities medication is important for many reasons - no need to state the obvious. A CMMS can keep a database of ingoing and outgoing meds, fire off alerts for re-ordering, and help prevent liability issues and lawsuits - just to name a few.
Keep Track of Chemicals
Like medication, chemicals also play a huge role in the medical industry. Avoid OSHA and regulatory issues by keeping tabs on them.
A CMMS can hold documentation for every piece of machinery, equipment, and medication that a hospital contains. Keeping documentation in one place helps save time and increases efficiency.
Store Warranty Information
Equipment breakdown is inevitable, no matter how well you maintain it. CMMS" give you an easy and safe place to store warranty information when you need a part replaced or when a machine such as a heart monitor breaks down.
While not exactly an accounting tool, a CMMS can print out reports for costs of maintenance labor, part fees, and so forth. This can, in turn, help you budget for (and predict) your future maintenance needs.
One of the main functions of any maintenance management program is the ability to schedule maintenance jobs. Schedule them as the need arises, and also put them on an actual "schedule".
Speaking of scheduling - the importance of preventative maintenance in a hospital cannot be understated. Not only does it cut costs significantly, but it can also save lives. Imagine a scenario where an ambulance has not had its oil changed in over a year and is on its way to an emergency. What would happen if the engine blew? Preventative maintenance helps avoid these unforgivable issues.
Comfort is a huge concern in a healthcare facility as well, especially in long-term and residential settings. Making sure handicap accessible doorways open and close properly, that the temperature is regulated, that kitchen equipment works - all of these are part of the maintenance system as well. If a doorway breaks or there is a plumbing issue, it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Monitor and Respond to Patient Requests
Along the same lines as comfort, are patient requests. Do the patients have any special medical needs? Do they require any extra machinery? Maybe it is something as simple as their television being on the fritz. You can keep track of these requests, issue jobs to take care of them, and locate the items the patient needs - all within a CMMS.
Keeping Up Appearance
Broken lights, stains on the carpets, chipped paint, and broken furniture - all of these things make a hospital seem unsanitary and make it less likely that a patient will return if they are in need of your services in the future. Put your best foot forward and use your CMMS to make your building presentable and clean.
Keeping your facility in shape, tracking your medicine and chemicals, maintaining equipment, keeping documentation - all of these things not only help keep your patients healthy and satisfied but also help you to avoid liabilities, such as a lawsuit or fine. And in the event that an accident occurs and you find yourself in a suit, a CMMS will help you provide proof of medicine distribution, maintenance, and show your responsiveness to requests and needs.
Cut Back on Energy Usage
One surprising benefit of a CMMS is the reduction of energy consumption. Properly maintaining equipment makes it run properly, which can prevent it from turning into an energy hog and adding to your facilities overhead.
Let's face it - a hospital is a business at the end of the day. Healthcare is a booming industry with stiff competition. A CMMS will help a hospital, rehab facility, or other healthcare companies save money in the same way it helps any other business. More profit means better doctors, better equipment, and a better patient experience.
Healthcare in Energy(PDF)