Most hospitals today use some form of computerized maintenance management system, or CMMS. Many are legacy CMMS solutions that primarily handle work order management, do not integrate with other systems throughout the organization and lead to a cycle of waste and redundancy.

To keep up with the times, healthcare systems need to modernize their CMMS to improve mobile capabilities, reporting and analytics and automate workflows within and between departments. It is also critical that the CMMS be able to manage cybersecurity initiatives, Alternative Equipment Maintenance (AEM) programs, equipment capital planning and the complete asset lifecycle—and go far beyond simple work order management.

A truly modern Healthcare CMMS can connect and transform your Healthcare Technology Management (HTM), Healthcare Facilities Management (HFM), Supply Chain and IT departments to transform the patient experience and ensure ongoing compliance with policies, laws and regulations.


Common Challenges Hospital Operations Face

Healthcare organizations face increasingly difficult challenges. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on America’s healthcare infrastructure and operating margins, there are also growing concerns about cybersecurity risks and effects of the aging technician workforce.

Shrinking Hospital Margins

Prior to COVID-19, hospital operating margins were at 1.7 percent, well below the 2.5 percent considered sustainable, according to Modern Healthcare. During the second quarter of 2020, average hospital margins fell 150 percent to negative 3 percent, a number that would have been much worse without federal government financial assistance.

Aging Biomedical Technician Workforce

Hospitals and clinics all over the country are facing the problem of an aging biomedical technician workforce. There soon will not be enough technicians to maintain and service their growing pool of critical biomedical equipment, and there are not enough young people entering the field. The mean age of radiology technicians rose from 50 to 52.4; the age of level-three biomed technicians rose from 49 to 52; and overall, the age of healthcare technicians rose from 49 to 51.

Cybersecurity Risks

There are roughly 50 billion cybersecurity exposures each year through medical devices. Medical equipment is increasingly intelligent and interconnected, leading to cybersecurity risks that legacy CMMS healthcare software just cannot handle.

In 2019 alone, the healthcare sector saw 41.4 million patient records breached, fueled by a 49 percent increase in hacking, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer. For comparison, the industry saw just 15 million records breached in 2018, with 30 percent of ransomware attacks that year still because of the notorious 2017 Wannacry breach.

In addition to these challenges, healthcare systems often face:

  • Lack of real-time visibility into equipment inventory, asset tracking and work order history.
  • Lack of understanding of the true cost of ownership of medical assets to make optimal asset management decisions.
  • Not having data to support Alternative Equipment Maintenance programs.
  • Perceived Medical equipment shortages often prompting unneeded equipment rentals or purchases.
  • Low utilization rates with equipment only being used at a fraction of its potential.
  • Delayed equipment and service requests causing patient safety and compliance problems.
  • Lack of accurate reliability data to drive the best medical equipment selection.
  • Failure to consistently focus on high priority work due to broken workflow systems.
  • Frequent reactive rather than preventive maintenance and service requests.

This leads to inefficiency, decreased revenue and lack of regulatory compliance. A modern healthcare CMMS can help.

Advantages of a Modern CMMS Software Solution

One of the most important advantages of using of a modern CMMS is to adhere to ever changing government regulations and maintain high standards during performance audits required by regulatory agencies, such as The Joint Commission, CMS and DNV GL.

A healthcare CMMS helps to collate all the vital information and generate accurate reports for audits. It will also safely store all the required PM schedules and equipment records on an easy-to-access centralized location where you can find them easily during government audits. A modern CMMS can also identify every device that is on an AEM and be able to run an AEM inventory report if requested by the Joint Commission, perform automated risk scoring to determine which devices should be on an AEM program, and complete ongoing behind-the-scenes monitoring and prompt for review if those decisions caused failure rates to increase.

In addition to regulatory compliance, a modern healthcare CMMS software solution will also:

  • Consolidate HTM, HFM, supply chain and IT onto one platform.
  • Automate and streamline service request workflows.
  • Identify and manage equipment spend more efficiently using real-world data to improve operating margins.
  • Manage equipment location, servicing and distribution using real-time tracking data.
  • Modernize and simplify the way technicians work with mobile capabilities.
  • Build automation with drag and drop workflow and report creation.
  • Automate preventive maintenance and alternative equipment maintenance (AEM).
  • Leverage native analytics for insights and better decision making.
  • Optimize and automate processes with integrations built on secure APIs.
  • Mitigate cybersecurity risks.

Why You Should Implement a Modern Healthcare CMMS

Growing competition and slashed budgets require that all hospitals and healthcare facilities work at maximum efficiency to stay competitive and compliant. Investing in a modern CMMS is the easiest way for healthcare organizations to streamline operational efficiency and increase profits while staying complaint with constantly changing policies, laws and regulations and mitigating cybersecurity risks.

For Plant/Operations Managers who want to maintain uptime, Clinical Engineers who value precise data to track asset health and to automate services and equipment distribution requests, and IT departments who need detailed information and predictive analytics to ward off medical device cyber attacks, a suite of connected tools, sensors and databases in a modern healthcare CMMS can be as essential as traditional tools and test equipment.

How Does a Healthcare CMMS Increase Efficiency?

Many healthcare organizations are still operating on multiple legacy and siloed applications. A modern, consolidated healthcare CMMS will:

  • Replace disparate systems, Excel sheets and physical paperwork used for tracking, supplies, workflows and work orders.
  • Consolidate HTM, HFM, supply chain and IT onto one platform.
  • Improve team management with mobile access and browser and device-agnostic user interface.
  • Centralize and automate services and equipment request processes onto a single pane of glass.
  • Save time and eliminate delays caused by emergency breakdowns and unavailable inventory.
  • Increase the ability to track critical asset and data with real-time information.
  • Build automation with drag and drop workflow and report creation.
  • Leverage native analytics for insights and better decision making.
  • Enable hospitals to properly plan future capital spend for equipment and maintenance.
  • Optimize and automate processes with integrations built on secure APIs.

How Does a Modern Healthcare CMMS Help with Medical Device Security?

Hospitals have hundreds of medical devices that are connected to the internet and vulnerable to attack, and properly identifying medical device and equipment security risks is critical to IT. A modern healthcare CMMS can quickly identify significant risks or gaps, and then automate and track the remediation or mitigation.

To mitigate cybersecurity risks, a modern CMMS will:

  • Analyze and report against all medical devices, network data and software.
  • Reconcile MDS2 data and other security attributes against inventory.
  • Automate workflows unique to your organization when potential security risks or gaps are found.
  • Integrate with network monitoring tools.

Using Modern Healthcare CMMS Software to Manage Preventive Maintenance

Having customizable and automated planned preventive maintenance (PM) tasks built into the CMMS and available in the PM work order makes it much easier for your techs to quickly locate every task that must be completed and ensures they are following all the required activities. It also provides quick access to the required activities if needed for a compliance review.

One of the most important features of a modern CMMS, however, is having the necessary data to create and support a compliant alternative equipment maintenance (AEM) program for your health system. While it sounds simple enough, developing an AEM schedule requires a lot from your CMMS to document compliance that legacy systems do not provide.

What to Look for in the Best Modern Healthcare CMMS Solutions

The best healthcare CMMS software solutions are mobile-enabled and web-based CMMS solutions that manage all aspects of asset management (medical devices, facility equipment and biomedical equipment), work order management, financials and expenses, preventive maintenance, risk and compliance reporting, equipment distribution and more. A modern healthcare CMMS provides:

  • Full asset lifecycle management from pre-assessment, acquisition, support to final disposition and data insights.
  • Ability to build flexible workflows with a configurable rules engine – without code or SQL.
  • Predictive analytics to allow for AEM implementation.
  • Robust and updated capital planning data.
  • Improved communication between Facilities, Operations and IT teams.
  • Big data for better analytics.
  • Automated parts procurement process with industry-leading vendors.
  • Connect systems and automated process with out-of-the-box integrations with RTLS providers, parts vendors, product recalls and alerts, network monitoring tools, ERPs and Time and Attendance.
  • Proactively secure medical devices and protect against cyber threats.

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.

Contact us today to start a conversation about how Accruent can help you with your asset management needs.