How to Optimize Equipment Availability as Demand Surges

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How to Optimize Equipment Availability as Demand Surges

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Medical equipment shortages are a challenge in many hospitals, especially when demand surges.

Now more than ever, the right supply chain strategies are needed to increase your hospital’s equipment availability and utilization rates to free up scarce resources and alleviate shortages. When equipment isn’t available for clinical staff, it creates perceived shortages, friction between departments and hinders a hospital’s ability to find equipment for preventive maintenance and recalls, putting patient safety at risk and creating a liability hazard. 
 

By utilizing Connectiv's modern healthcare CMMS platform to ensure equipment is available, your organization can keep up with demand, create trust and breakdown operational silos.

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Rapid response to equipment requests optimizes clinical care and saves lives.

Because clinical staff struggle to find medical equipment when they need it, they often take matters into their own hands by calling or visiting other floors searching for available equipment. In many health systems, equipment request fulfillment can take hours. Tracking equipment and reducing request fulfillment to minutes with an automated and transparent process frees up clinical staff so they can focus on caring for patients.

Connectiv's Request Management portal with mobile capabilities aggregates requests, streamlines workflows and notifies and updates the proper teams. In addition to automating equipment requests and workflows, requests can be created on demand or via integrations with external solutions including EMRs. Some health systems have seen equipment fulfillment times decrease to less than 15 minutes, down from several hours. 

Better equipment management increases equipment availability, utilization and staff efficiency.

Two ways organizations typically address the perceived shortage issues is purchasing additional new equipment or renting equipment. In fact, many hospitals typically stock more equipment than they need. This is particularly true with mobile medical equipment like IV Pumps, Sequential Compression Devices (SCDs), Feeding Pumps, and PCA pumps. But the bigger problem is that existing equipment is only being used at a fraction of its potential. 

For example, the average utilization rate for an IV pump is 40%. With improved strategies using a modern CMMS, that rate can be improved to at least 60%, and to more than 75% in optimal cases. This practice can eliminate most of your rental costs and help you potentially avoid over a million dollars in capital purchase expenses.  

By working with nursing and EVS staff to ensure equipment is available and has been cleaned and disinfected, as well as utilizing your CMMS and asset management solutions to rapidly return equipment back into inventory, your organization can keep up with demand and improve preventive maintenance completion rates. 

Without a modern asset management solution, getting equipment back into inventory after sterilization and preventive maintenance can take days instead of hours.
 

87% of hospitals list identifying and managing cost reduction initiatives as among the most important financial performance management activities for their organization.1
 

Automated workflows breakdown silos.

With an automated workflow, facilities/plant operations and clinical engineering departments have real-time visibility into equipment requests, such as being able to see what is being ordered, by whom, where and how often. This, combined with mobile equipment tracking technology, helps drive real-time workflows. 

Hospitals can reestablish trust among the clinical staff by allowing them to request equipment via an online portal with complete visibility. If your request management solution offers a visual image of the equipment, rather than just the name and make of the asset, it provides staff the confidence and support they need.

Automated workflows increase equipment availability and breakdown operational silos by ensuring equipment is tracked, maintained, cleaned and ready to go when needed. 

How Accruent can help:

Healthcare organizations that leverage advanced CMMS and Asset Management technology can increase utilization rates and breakdown operational silos. In addition, systems that employ these solutions lower associated costs, increase equipment availability and offer patients, visitors and staff a better experience and greater peace of mind. 

Beyond technology, Accruent experts are available to evaluate your current processes, key performance indicators, and highlight step-by-step improvement recommendations to make your Healthcare Facilities and Biomedical Departments a Strategic Asset.

Accruent Healthcare is offering FREE COVID-19 tools to help healthcare organizations respond. Visit our COVID-19 special reports from Accruent Healthcare page to learn more.

 

1 2020 Healthcare Financial Outlook, Page 4, Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC

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