Remember when the finance sector operated with heavy files, thousands of receipts, and manually tallying multiple records while sitting next to a library-sized record house?
Well, something changed the way of operation for the finance sector. It was technology. The power of real-time data, mobility, and cloud storage transformed how the finance sector operates, and today, healthcare facility operations stand at the threshold of a similar transformation.
For decades, healthcare facilities have relied on antiquated legacy CMMS systems and fragmented solutions that serve primarily as data repositories. These antiquated tools have failed to keep pace with evolving patient demands and the ever-expanding responsibilities of O&M teams.
This article sheds light on the imperative for healthcare facility operations executives to re-evaluate their operational needs and embrace advanced technology to create a patient-centric healthcare environment. It also delves into how these technologies will become indispensable for streamlined facility operations in the near future.
The truth about the state of healthcare operations tech today
Much like the broader real estate sector, healthcare operations embraced CMMS systems in the 1950s, drawing inspiration from their success in manufacturing.
These early CMMS systems were designed primarily for asset management, tailored exclusively to technicians' needs. As time marched on, healthcare operations evolved, but their technology stack stagnated.
Presently, most healthcare facilities grapple with outdated technology, including:
- Legacy CMMS systems dating back a decade, handling just service requests and asset maintenance.
- An assortment of disjointed solutions for managing purchase orders, vendors, and payments.
- An over-reliance on Excel spreadsheets and paper-based records for asset management and work orders.
The reality is that healthcare operations executives today are compelled to use 4 to 5 different applications along with paper records to manage their day-to-day operations, and the amount of time and resources spent on these activities due to the archaic tech stack is just preposterous.
A fragmented technological landscape leaves healthcare facility operations executives and teams in the dark about their portfolio-wide operations, hindering a cohesive patient experience.
Further, they spend most of their time firefighting day-to-day issues rather than pondering and executing long-term strategic plans.
This results in an organization-wide culture of addressing issues only when they arise rather than preventing them in the first place. The reactive facility management culture is characterized by:
- Siloed facility operations.
- The dearth of insights regarding SLAs and KPIs.
- Missed opportunities for cost savings.
- Inefficient compliance management.
- Frequent and costly equipment breakdowns.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50%-80% of equipment stays nonfunctional in healthcare institutes due to a lack of maintenance culture and the tendency to emphasize corrective maintenance over preventive maintenance.
The status quo, defined by legacy CMMS systems, fragmented solutions, and antiquated record-keeping practices, must transform for a patient-centric facility experience.
Unlocking operational synergies with unified technologies
Adding new software solutions to patch up inefficiencies and gaps might seem like a quick fix, but it often just adds to the chaos of disjointed tools.
The real solution? Embrace a unified technology platform that centralizes all your organization-wide operations, helping you tackle challenges head-on.
Picture this: You're constantly bombarded with service requests to fix operation theater doors. You outsource work order management every time, resulting in costly bills and extended downtimes.
The cycle continues until you make the switch to a unified technology system. Suddenly, you can spot patterns in these work orders, track yearly expenses, and make informed decisions, like hiring an in-house carpenter at a fraction of the cost.
The result? Reduced call volume and significant cost savings.
Remember, technology isn't about magically transforming your operations overnight. It's about giving you the power to make data-driven decisions daily. This empowerment is what truly unlocks the operational synergies of your facility management team.
Take the integration of IoT devices in hospitals, for example. These sensors monitor equipment performance, allowing for predictive maintenance and minimizing downtime. In a patient-centric setting, this means improved patient flow and fewer incidents of asset breakdowns.
These cutting-edge technologies‐IoT devices, Artificial Intelligence, cloud-based platforms, interoperability, configurability, and more ‐ work together seamlessly. They bridge the gap between your people, processes, and systems, providing a unified, real-time view of your facility operations.
But it's not just about the technology; it's also about reevaluating the fundamental needs of your healthcare facility operations. Being open to adapting technology is key to creating facilities that revolve around your patients.
Stepping into an era of tech-led healthcare operations
As you gaze into the future, it's becoming crystal clear: these cutting-edge technologies aren't just a competitive edge anymore; they're becoming essential for smooth operations, much like Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have become standard practice.
Automated inventory management systems will reduce waste and ensure that essential supplies are always available, contributing to a smoother patient experience. Predictive analytics will continue to evolve, allowing healthcare executives to make informed decisions proactively.
Automated systems will adeptly handle routine service request processing, enabling healthcare O&M executives to focus on strategic decisions and patient care.
By embracing these advancements, you're not just meeting rising healthcare expectations; you're optimizing your facility operations, ensuring staff and patient safety, and creating a truly patient-centric environment.
Facilities that embrace these changes aren't just delivering care; they're delivering superior care, earning a stellar reputation, all while making the most of their resources. It's a win-win situation.
Efficient operations as the backbone of patient-centric facilities
Imagine a healthcare world where every patient's needs are met and exceeded. That world isn't a distant dream ‐ it's the future we're stepping into. We've seen other industries transform, leveraging technology to redefine their standards. It's time for the healthcare industry to join this transformative journey.
Consider the days when paperwork and disjointed systems were the norm, not the exception. Now, picture seamless operations, where technology automates mundane tasks, freeing you to focus on what truly matters: patient care.
So, the time for change isn't on the horizon ‐ it's now. The future of healthcare isn't a distant concept; it's a reality shaped by technology. The question isn't why; it's why wait.