Healthcare asset operations management is a maintenance solution that encircles asset maintenance management and asset operations teams, with the goal to keep medical assets running smoothly and efficiently. Asset operations management is a centralized solution that gathers data from multiple other sources to gain insight into operation workflows and improve business impact.
An asset operations management solution is used to manage the entire lifecycle of medical assets by enabling healthcare organisations to get an overview of responsibilities of assets, planned preventive maintenance, service requests, documentation on assets within hospitals, clinics, and service organisations. And importantly, gain insight into and improve asset operations workflows.
A solution that is made for healthcare has a greater perspective of the benefits and challenges of managing assets in the healthcare segment. A purpose-built asset operations management for healthcare has the goal of maximizing the focus on preventive maintenance, increasing lifespan of medical devices, easing regulatory compliance requirements, improving operation workflows, and sustaining patient safety.
Healthcare asset operations management plays a significant role in managing preventive maintenance of all medical equipment, reducing the potential risk of equipment failure, providing analytics, and improving asset operations workflows.
Compared to other industries, in the healthcare industry it is crucial that all assets are maintained in an excellent condition to ensure patient safety. Especially, high risk and high device class medical assets, such as defibrillators and ventilators, must follow strict maintenance procedures to ensure sustained patient safety.
The key focus of healthcare asset operations management is supporting healthcare organisations to gain an overarching view of asset operations workflows.
As a result, healthcare organisations will get a better understanding of their workflows impact business and obtain an informed decision basis for improving operations. Instead of information silos across the organisation, asset operations management solutions hold information from a larger set of business operation data.
Healthcare asset operations management software solutions can ensure regulatory compliance at the healthcare organisation. Depending on your location and governing body, there are various compliance that needs to be adhered to. Not adhering to local, national, or international regulatory compliance will not only affect your organisation’s operations and credibility but could also have devastating effects on patient safety.
Some, but not all, healthcare asset operations management solutions enable compliance with: Unique Device Identification (UDI), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN), European Database on Medical Devices (EUDAMED), and European Medical Device Regulation (MDR).
Most healthcare organisations have internal review procedures and may request reports related availability of medical devices, downtime, amount of planned preventive maintenance the coming quarter, amount of unplanned maintenance, and work order turnaround times, only to mention a few.
Asset operations management software made for healthcare can abide by these internal review procedures required within the healthcare industry.
There are many benefits with using healthcare asset operations management. The benefits that will have the largest impact can vary based on the needs of the healthcare organisation. Here are a few benefits that are common across the healthcare segment:
The major key benefit is the improvement in asset operations workflows. By gathering data from various silos, especially when including IoT data, a healthcare business can get insight to asset performances and identify what works and what does not work. As a result, healthcare organisations will be able to move towards improving workflow efficiency.
Data analytic tools within asset operations management solutions provide organisation clarity into areas that need extra support and areas that are excelling. This alone can decrease downtime on medical assets. Additionally, if the asset operations management solution includes a helpdesk feature that provides information directly to clinical engineers, the benefit will be even more noticeable.
Enhanced asset registry to keep track of the entire medical inventory with information related to model, codes, manufacturer, contracts, warranty, finance, and more. As the healthcare organisation grows larger, an asset operations management solution will benefit from advanced search functionality to easily find medical assets according to specific search queries.
Asset utilisation can be maximised with real-time data from IoT sensors combined with historical data. This enables healthcare organisations to detect issues before they come apparent and therefore extending the life cycle of medical devices.
Ease localisation of medical assets, helping staff to locate medical assets faster. As a result, spending less time tracking down assets and instead get more time with patients.
Complying with regulations and internal review by easily providing reports related to the availability of medical devices, downtime, amount of planned preventive maintenance the coming quarter, and more.
There are several regulations that could be important for the healthcare organisation to follow, such as GMDN, EUDAMED, MDR, UDI, and ITIL. The regulations that apply to the healthcare organisation in question depends on the country the operations take place in.
Gain access to improved maintenance by providing accurate and timely information for planning maintenance sessions, allowing for repairs to be conducted in quieter periods.
Asset operations management solutions enables healthcare businesses to gain insight to historical maintenance performance, as well as the amount of planned maintenance in the coming months.
Importantly, healthcare organisations will sustain patient safety by ensuring that medical assets are properly maintained according to manufacturer recommendations. Simultaneously ensuring that critical assets are available when and where they are needed the most.
There are several features in healthcare asset operations management software that are made to fit medical and organisational needs. All organisations and their needs are unique; therefore, we can only discuss from a general point of view.
Same as all organisations being unique, so are the different healthcare asset operations management software solutions. These software solutions may vary in features they provide, future development roadmap, availability for customers to customise the software.
These are the possible asset operations management areas:
Within the healthcare industry, it is becoming increasingly important to access medical assets across multiple facilities and departments. Asset operations management software with cloud-based deployment can make it seamless for healthcare organisations to track maintenance requests across large distances, departments, and hospital facilities. At the same time, an asset operations management solution will provide clinical engineers improved asset visibility compared to an Excel spreadsheet.
A few asset operations management solutions vendors extend accessibility to mobile applications, making it easy to access on the mobile. This helps clinical engineers to easily access and document on medical assets, without having to return to a desktop computer.
Most solutions can be deployed locally at the facility, allowing for offline capabilities that will allow hospital staff to document information while disconnected from the internet.
In order to gain the many of the mentioned benefits, the software solution must be implemented to seamlessly fit into the healthcare organisation. The asset operations management solution must obtain data from the previous solution, and staff must be trained and ready for the new solution. Although all projects vary, here are the general implementation phases of an asset operations management solution:
Conduct a feasibility study and assess the need for an asset operations management solution. Discuss the specific requirements your service or healthcare organisation has.
The evaluation step is incredibly important for the organisations. Therefore, we made a dedicated section of 7 things to look for in a healthcare asset operations management solution that is presented later in the article.
Once the evaluation is completed you will need to find an asset operations management solution that fits your needs. Solution vendors can heavily vary in the features they deliver. You will also need to consider if you will use open source, commercial, or developed software.
Contact potential vendors to gain insight into their abilities and stories of previous projects. Review their successful projects, but also ask about their failures. You may ask: why? Discussing failures will show if the vendor is humble and able to learn from previous mistakes. This will reduce the likelihood of the same and similar mistake occurring once again and therefore improve the chances of a successfully implemented solution.
Now is the time to gather all available information and data that is needed to implement the asset operations management solution. It is likely the healthcare organisation already has this available, but information from sources outside the organisation may be needed.
If an on-premise solution is chosen, the asset operations management solution is installed at the healthcare organisation or facility. If a cloud solution is chosen, a personalised environment for the organisation will be created. Appropriate personnel will be assigned to help with the installation phase, such as clinical engineering and system administrators.
If needed, the solution will be configured to fit the organisations existing procedures such as workflows and security. Technical system customisation may be needed to meet the requirements set by the service or healthcare organisation.
Now is the time to move data from an existing system or paperwork into the asset operations management solution. Most projects include equipment information (codes, warranty, and classifications), user security (access and passwords).
Clinical Engineers should be involved in this phase, as they often understand the data. The vendor might provide guidance to ensure that the data is inserted without failure.
Ensure that all users are familiar with the asset operations management solution and its features. The vendors should have detailed manuals and support channels. It is a good idea to find information about their training program before reaching a contractual agreement.
Now the solution is in use. Continuous monitoring will be needed to ensure it is maintained and running effectively. A continuous dialog should be had with the commercial vendor to discuss the roadmap, and upcoming versions and features.
When searching for an asset operations management solution vendor within the healthcare segment, you want to find a software solution that fits your specific needs. You want to consider the following questions before you make your purchase:
There are multiple asset operations management and similar solutions out there, however not all are made for the healthcare segment. This is important as healthcare organisations face different challenges compared to other industries. Depending on your location, there will be a need to follow regulatory compliance such as ITIL, GMDN, EUDAMED, MDR, and UDI.
Of course, it is important that the asset operations management software solution matches your needs when you first start using it. However, as the healthcare industry develops, so will your needs. Therefore, it is important that you find a vendor that is continuously innovating and developing their asset operations management solution.
The latter part of the question is obvious, but the first part is worth considering if you want a long-term solution. The asset operations management software solution needs to be able to expand (or diminish) with regards to your organisations size and demand. Larger organisation means higher maintenance needs.
You want to know how the vendor sets their pricing model. For example, additional licenses may need to be purchased to accommodate an increasing number of users. If you have an on-premise solution, you may need to purchase additional hardware in order to manage the increasing server load, while also expanding the server storage space to allow for a larger database.
Having access to technical support for an asset operations management healthcare solution is one of the most valuable services a vendor can offer. As a customer, it is important for you to understand how the vendor manages support and if any fees are involved. Some vendors do not have any support, and some have a prolonged response time.
Proper training is the key to ensure that the healthcare asset operations management solution provides the benefits mentioned previously in the article.
Asset operations management vendors do their utmost to ensure the software is easy to use for all end-users. However, asset operations management in the healthcare segment can get complicated in areas. This is due to the need to meet regulatory compliance and ensure patient safety. Additional documentation on medical equipment may be needed. Each healthcare organisation operates differently, so how complicated the asset operations management solution needs to be, depends on the organisation in question.
Check with the vendor if they have video tutorials that can be accessed on demand, provide webinars, have detailed documentation that you can access, and other useful material that can help you benefit the most from the healthcare asset operations management software solution.
You will need to consider if you want an asset operations management solution that will be deployed locally (on-premise) or cloud. It is also worth considering if you want the solution to be accessible on your mobile phone.
If you are moving from one asset operations management software to another, ensure you can extract data from the current software solution and import it into the new solution. In almost all cases, the data needs to be prepared, through adjustments and relabelling, to be able to be properly entered into the new system.
All customers and needs are unique; therefore, it is important for vendors to be flexible and adapt to what the healthcare organisation and project needs. At SoftPro Medical Solutions, we have a consulting team that helps our customers to prepare the data into our software solution.
There are numerous terms for similar solutions. There are a few key differences in the focus areas of these type of solutions.
Asset operations management has a larger focus on asset operations workflows and the impact on business. The solution is made to find a way to reduce productivity loss by aligning perspectives across the entire business. One way asset operations management solution tries to do this is by combining data from data silos to find opportunities to improve maintenance operations.
An enterprise asset management solution in healthcare emphasises the focus on the medical assets lifecycle and to streamline medical asset inventory, maintenance, and tracking. Enabling easy access to preventive maintenance and reducing risk. Healthcare organisations will get an overview of responsibilities of assets, planned maintenance, service requests, documentation on assets within hospitals, clinics, and service organisations. The key target group is clinical engineering, IT, radiology, lab, dental, home care, administration such as finance.
Enterprise asset management (EAM), computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) is the most searched according to Google Trends. EAM and CMMS are similar, however an EAM solution has all the features of a CMMS solution, while CMMS does not have all the features of EAM.
With an EAM solution, you will have the ability to get additional features and integrations in the future. With just an CMMS solution, there could be a limitation on expanding the CMMS software functionality in the future.
Costs related to the purchase, implementation, and continuous usage of asset operations management solutions is generally higher than EAM and CMMS solutions. The cost difference between EAM and CMMS is often minimal. Consider reaching out to the vendor to learn more about their services and related costs.
One efficient enterprise asset management (EAM) solution is Medusa, which also is made specifically for the healthcare segment. Medusa entirely encircles computerized maintenance management systems and expands beyond those features (see the focus areas in the image below). The solution supports all processes in the lifecycle of a medical and IT-device. Medusa can be delivered both as a SaaS and on-premise solution. Accessible on both web browser and mobile phone.
SoftPro Medical Solutions asset management is managing more than 15 million medical assets daily in over 400 hospitals. We have more than 23 years of experience in the healthcare segment, and we are continuously developing our solutions to meet current and future needs within the healthcare industry.
Healthcare asset operations management is a tool to streamline management of healthcare assets, create well-performing workflows, identify business impact, meet regulatory compliance of medical devices, and support internal reviews.
The benefits are vast and will increase as the healthcare organisation grows larger. The numerous benefits of an asset operations management solution will ensure medical asset reliability, regulatory compliance, improve business with asset management, and importantly sustain patient safety. However, the benefits will not come by themselves.
In order to gain these benefits, the healthcare organisation must ensure they choose a vendor that can satisfy the current and future needs. Reflex on which benefits may impact your organisation the most. Consider reaching out to the supplier to get a demo of their solution to see if it meets your organisational needs.
An asset operations management solution has many different areas that are related to medical devices, everything from asset management to workflows and analytics. Each healthcare organisation has different challenges and therefore it is important to communicate internally to gather requirements for choosing an asset operations management solution.
Are you within the healthcare segment and would like to learn more?