Ensuring an efficient approach to healthcare facilities management requires adopting modern approaches to tracking issues, concerns, requests, people, equipment–the list goes on and on.
Long gone are the days of small, local medical practices run by one doctor who did just about everything. It’s hard to imagine a healthcare provider who didn’t refer patients out and who was unaffiliated with any major healthcare system. It’s hard to imagine a time when medical offices didn’t have sophisticated imaging equipment, and all records were kept on paper files. Back in the “olden” days, if a doctor had a facilities issue, they would just “call a guy” to come fix it.
But now, multiple doctors practice together in state of the art facilities. They have teams that keep all of their equipment up and running. Sometimes those teams are shared with the hospitals or healthcare systems that the doctors are affiliated with.
When you go into a hospital or doctor’s office, you see the staff running around doing their jobs, but behind the curtain, machines have become the tools that keep things moving. To keep those machines working, they have to be maintained by the facilities team. They also must keep up the buildings, offices, grounds, parking, security, cafeterias, and more. They are the full integration between people, places, processes and technology.
What happens when an issue with one of those machines gets lost? Does a medicine pump administer the wrong amount of painkillers? Does a defibrillator not work in an emergency? Does the boiler not produce enough steam for proper sterilization of linens?
Failing to properly track issues such as these can have severe consequences in a healthcare setting.
Spreadsheets for tracking – Not your most reliable method
If the healthcare facilities where you work has multiple team members, you may very likely be using a spreadsheet for tracking issues and workload. Unfortunately, while using spreadsheets for tracking is common, it isn’t a reliable method to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks.
Regardless of this being a less than full-proof method, it’s quite possible you’ve been using spreadsheets for years. And previously, this might’ve worked. However, with changing roles and improvements in technology, you may find it hard to keep items prioritized or to know who is working on what. You and your team are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities, such as fixing broken equipment, handling preventative maintenance, and ongoing updates. Staff turnover along with healthcare system mergers and management changes can consistently cause headaches and add new layers of complexity to your responsibilities.
How do you monitor what your team members are working on? Or determine priority for new requests that come in? How do you stay on top of your preventative maintenance items?
It may be time to consider a software package that is more robust than a simple spreadsheet. There are three distinct benefits to be gained from switching to a software package.
Three benefits of using software for healthcare facilities management
- Scheduling preventative maintenance
One of the biggest challenges all facilities teams face is the need to keep equipment running properly as it ages. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent needless spending on new equipment because the existing pieces aren’t properly maintained. If automatic reminders can be set for each piece of equipment that needs preventative maintenance, then nothing gets forgotten. Being able to track and report on those maintenance items allows you to get the most from your equipment.
- Gaining visibility into what the team is working on
In a larger healthcare system, you may have multiple hospitals, labs, doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, and more. By tracking requests in a software package, you can know where your technicians are, making sure they’re not making multiple trips to the same location. You can also communicate with other staff members, making sure they’re aware of timelines and any other issues that may come up.
- Prioritizing incoming requests
Requests may come in from multiple sources. In addition to your own team and staff members, you may take emails or phone calls from patients or family members letting you know of everything from spills in the cafeteria, lack of restroom maintenance, or just that the wifi is down. A software package lets you see all of your requests and prioritize them based on severity or impact. Being able to quickly pull a team member from routine work and dispatch them to a critical issue could quite possibly mean the difference between life and death.
Are you ready to move away from spreadsheets or post-it notes spread across your workstations? Read more about how medical providers and facilities are using Issuetrak for healthcare facilities management. To get a personalized tour showing how Issuetrak can help you organize all your facilities management needs, talk to one of our product experts today.