Too often, healthcare facilities spread maintenance operations across multiple disjointed delivery networks and separate locations. This leaves healthcare practices struggling to manage work orders, the workforce, and preventative maintenance, and leads to inaccurate and inefficient data and high spending. Keeping track of key assets and resources and maintaining them requires a lot of effort and human resources.
Without a proper facility maintenance strategy, maintenance personnel are allocated inefficiently, critical equipment runs the risk of failing, and lack of compliance may result in costly fines and damaged reputations. But what if there was a single view allowing healthcare facilities to know who maintains what, when, and for how much? This way, everyone has the ability to anticipate future needs and handle critical repairs before they escalate to major problems.
Critical Need for Multi-Location Healthcare Practices to Streamline Facilities Management
Streamlining and centralizing a facilities management program will help healthcare professionals provide better patient/customer experience, improve brand value, extend asset life, optimize costs, and leave more resources and time to focus on more critical areas of the facilities including business strategies, business expansion, and more. This results in streamlined operations, better productivity, and increased ROI. It also encourages better results and uninterrupted services for your healthcare facility.
With a future-proof facility maintenance strategy, healthcare center operators can effectively manage all daily operations without compromising quality standards. At the same time, such a strategy helps maintain a clean, safe, well-functioning, and sanitized facility that positively influences the patient experience. When it comes time to scale to new locations, having an existing maintenance strategy in place makes it easy to implement effective measures right away in your new location.
Challenges Faced When Streamlining Facilities Maintenance in Healthcare Centers
When it comes to streamlining facilities maintenance, healthcare providers should be aware of the key challenges in their efforts to streamline facilities maintenance in healthcare centers. This includes everything from cleanliness to safety measures to asset management.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
In health facilities, cleanliness and hygiene is one of the key indicators of patient satisfaction. But it goes beyond this. It also helps eliminate the spread of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI), which come with high mortality and costs. Reducing the risk of any kind of infection means cleaning the facility regularly combined with strict and efficient housekeeping, waste disposal, and disinfection. Proper care of floors, good indoor ventilation, and sunlight are also important.
Ensuring that patients and staff are safe and secure should always be the number one priority in any healthcare center. But this can be challenging, especially for older facilities, because of their aging infrastructure and older HVAC systems.
In areas that experience extreme weather conditions, for example, patients and staff can be affected by harsh conditions such as freezing, natural disasters, and so on. Addressing key issues related to structural stability and maintenance can help extend the useful life of the infrastructure while ensuring that every occupant is safe.
Since healthcare facilities serve thousands of patients, visitors, and employees 24/7, they consume a lot of energy in lighting, cooling, refrigeration, ventilation, and other systems. In fact, hospitals alone in the U.S. spend over $10 billion every year on electricity. As the cost of energy increases, it can consume upwards of three percent of the total hospital’s operating budget.
For this reason, many areas now require that healthcare facilities must have a carefully coordinated program to reduce energy usage without interrupting vital services. This may include using advanced tools to monitor and control high-energy-consuming systems to uncover the most cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades for your facility.
Keeping Up with Asset Management for Aging Equipment
The maintenance department at any healthcare center faces unique challenges in their efforts to keep the assets under their care in a manner that is sustainable and cost-effective. They also have to deal with cases of unplanned equipment shutdown which may lead to serious medical issues and even loss of life. Preventing breakdowns is much less expensive than repairing them, which is why skillful planning backed by specific facility management tools is essential to extending the life of existing assets.
How to Streamline FM Across Multiple Locations
Every facility within a healthcare center has different goals, priorities, and areas of vulnerability. These simple tips can be a starting point to streamlining facility maintenance in healthcare facilities.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Sanitation
Healthcare facilities are required to maintain utmost cleanliness and hygiene to reduce the growth of HAI, which can be spread between patients, hospital staff, and visitors.
Facilities will need to create effective cleaning and infection control programs to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness are maintained. This includes proactive and regular cleaning, disinfection, and creating a more comfortable environment for the patient.
Staying Safe and Secure
The safety of patients is of utmost importance in any healthcare facility. Both manual and automated security measures should be put in place and maintained to ensure the facility is secure at all times. For instance, in areas with extreme conditions, addressing issues related to the stability of infrastructure and regular maintenance of HVAC systems can help ensure the safety and security of patients and healthcare personnel.
Many healthcare facilities operate 24/7, which means that all equipment requires a constant power supply to run efficiently. This leads to significant consumption of energy to ensure everything is working properly.
These facilities can increase energy efficiency by using smart technology tools that automatically track and control high-energy consumption systems. These tools can help identify areas to upgrade to safe energy. Some upgrades may include using high-efficiency HVAC systems, replacing light fixtures, advanced lighting control systems like LEDs, and designing buildings and rooms that allow natural lighting to save energy. This way, the energy within a healthcare facility can be channeled to areas where it’s needed most, saving time and greatly reducing expenses.
Implement a Proactive Maintenance Plan to Cut Costs
The top priority of any facility maintenance team is to achieve optimum efficiency of their assets while keeping maintenance costs in check. Since hospital systems have to be running 24/7, it’s important to have preventive maintenance programs to ensure every piece of equipment is running properly. This should include regular checks, tests, and even actions that reduce the likelihood of equipment failure. Implementing a preventive maintenance strategy will allow you to reduce the downtime and the costs of reactive maintenance and extend the life of your equipment.
Invest in The Right Facilities Maintenance Platform
A holistic approach to facilities maintenance for a healthcare facility takes into account the needs of all patients, stakeholders, health care professionals, building staff, and regulatory bodies.
A revolutionized facilities management platform like One by SMS Assist can offer the solutions you need for all your facilities maintenance needs. It allows you to keep track and manage critical asset data and implement more effective maintenance strategies, while also reducing overall reactive spending to ensure you make smarter decisions for the future of your business.
Get in touch with our team of experts to get started with your facility maintenance today.