The healthcare industry is heavily dependent on the accuracy and functionality of its equipment. Not only do lives rely upon equipment running continuously but uptime of medical equipment is required in order to meet compliance standards.


Person using a microscope

One consistent method that is proven to ensure equipment uptime and compliance is the use of Failure Code analysis and to analysis optimize preventive maintenance intervals. This process is also known as a root cause analysis. According to Healthcare Facilities Magazine, setting up failure codes and conducting a failure analysis is one of the most important maintenance processes a healthcare facility can complete. Failure Codes allow a company to easily identify and report on common issues in a consistent manner. Without the use of Failure Codes, a company is left to search reasons fields or review many work orders to help identify the failure and conduct an analysis. This process can lead to inconsistency and make accurate reporting virtually impossible. By using the failure analysis feature of a CMMS, a company can break down the Problems, Failure Reasons, and Solutions separately. Here is a sample list of Failure codes broken down by Problems, Failure Reasons, and Solutions. These particular failure codes are typically used by the Clinical Technology or Biomed departments of a healthcare facility. The codes are systematically broken down into logical groups to allow for ease of reporting.


The Benefits and Necessity of Failure Code Analysis in Healthcare

Taking the time to implement a failure code analysis process can greatly benefit a healthcare organization’s maintenance process and budget. Here are a few of the top benefits a company can receive when a failure code analysis plan is put in place.

  • More Proactive and Less Reactive Processes
  • Identification of Trends and Problems for Specific Equipment Types
  • Cost Savings and Efficiency
  • Longer Equipment Life and Reliability
  • Ability to Maintain Compliance & Meet Regulatory Standards

Another great incentive and time saver for healthcare facilities is the ability to instantly produce compliance reports to meet healthcare standards. There is a multitude of legal codes and requirements healthcare facilities must deal with on a daily basis. A few key bodies that publish codes and drive standards within the healthcare industry are –

The Joint Commission has strict PM standards for certain types of healthcare equipment, such as Level 1 Risk Assets and Level 2 Risk Assets which require 100% PM completion and 92% PM completion. As seen from the graphic below, only 55% of healthcare facilities are operating at a 50% reactive/ 50% preventive ratio or better, so, there is still much room for improvement.


How Do Failure Codes and Analysis Help Maintain Compliance and Save Expenses

So how does the failure analysis process really help with compliance, efficiency and cost reduction? After a company has set up Problem codes in the work order system, a related Failure and Solution code can be created from conducting a problem and root cause analysis. This analysis aids companies by doing the following.

  • Helps Track work order history and failures related to each equipment
  • Documents work procedures to verify work is being carried out in accordance to regulations
  • Tracks labor and hours spent on each work order
  • Generates reports and dashboards to show KPI data for equipment
  • Tracks work requests to ensure on-time completion
  • Exposes problems by identifying equipment which is incurring excessive expenses

Instead of trying to guess what equipment is failing and what the correct response to that failure is, a properly implemented failure analysis plan can help you generate ideal Preventive Maintenance intervals into your CMMS. This can ensure these issues are proactively be mitigated. While a CMMS will not guarantee compliance, implementing such a system and incorporating those standards and codes makes compliance far easier to assess and to achieve.


How Has Failure Analysis Helped Current Healthcare Organizations

Maintenance Connection performed a detailed analysis of all its healthcare customers. 87% of organizations that perform 80% or greater preventive maintenance, report significant cost savings from their CMMS. Moving from left to right the increase of PMs result in an increase in asset life which also results in an increase to the bottom line. Maintenance Connection customers have seen an 85% improvement in system reliability and reduced downtime which equals costs savings in their maintenance budget by using a CMMS and implementing failure code analysis. Implementing this process is a valuable time and money saving process for any company.