Healthcare environments have the difficult task of ensuring all patients receive the best care possible. To make this happen, institutions must effectively manage all of their assets, from surgical equipment to pharmaceuticals. Failing to do so can result in life threatening situations.
With so many different assets to manage carefully, there is a unique need for asset management and maintenance software. Implementing a healthcare asset management program can help healthcare facilities elevate their existing record-keeping practices.
What is asset management software?
Asset management and maintenance software is a highly configurable system that enables organizations to monitor and track their equipment and inventory effectively. The right asset management system helps organizations easily find any asset at any given time.
In the scope of healthcare, asset management processes provide greater visibility on asset utilization, maintenance requirements, and total cost of ownership. With asset management software, healthcare providers can find equipment easily, maintain optimal inventory levels, improve asset utilization, and much more.
As a highly configurable platform, asset management and maintenance solutions seamlessly integrate with existing IT and facilities systems. This ensures assets within healthcare facilities are deployed and utilized in the most efficient manner possible.
Why is healthcare asset management so important?
The use of asset management software in a healthcare setting does more than save facilities time and money. There are tangible benefits to be realized through the use of asset management solutions.
Regardless of a healthcare facility’s size, below are five benefits of asset tracking.
1. Greater oversight of mission-critical equipment
Any breakdown of indispensable assets like CT scanners can negatively impact the level of patient care that a facility can provide. Through inventory management solutions, mission-critical systems can be managed and maintained through a preventative maintenance schedule.
With advanced asset maintenance software, the periodic maintenance, calibration, and testing of mission-critical equipment can be done without delay. In terms of productivity, this preventive approach to maintenance scheduling minimizes disruption and reduces equipment downtime.
Reporting data can also be compiled easily with asset maintenance software.
This data enables the facility’s administration to identify an asset’s lifecycle trend. By having usage data, management can make informed decisions regarding future healthcare technology investments.
2. Eliminates barriers to productivity
Being able to locate lifesaving equipment promptly is a vital necessity across any healthcare facility. Yet, several studies show that nurses spend nearly an hour of each 8-hour shift searching for missing medication or equipment.
Such interruptions and breakdowns to operational efficiency interfere with employee productivity. When nurses and other healthcare providers are trying to resolve operational failures, they cannot prioritize patient safety or provide high standards of patient care.
In environments where locating essential equipment can save a life, adopting technology like asset inventory control can improve patient experiences. With an asset management system in place, equipment can easily be located.
On the maintenance side, asset inventory tracking aids in service ticketing.
Asset maintenance software allows facility support services to grade maintenance urgency based on asset usage and service history. By knowing which service requests to prioritize first, maintenance staff can improve their productivity.
This ensures that assets can be used when needed, allowing healthcare professionals to spend more time where they’re needed.
3.Real-time tracking of inventory
Another benefit of asset inventory control is identifying when healthcare supplies and equipment have been misappropriated quickly. Asset inventory tracking allows healthcare facilities to monitor when equipment is being hoarded, misplaced, or stolen.
The effects of asset mismanagement can be astounding. With no real visibility of assets, operational costs increase dramatically. For example, a medical center in the U.S. reported 383 medical items as stolen, a total loss of more than $11 million.
This one example highlights the need for the complete accuracy of all asset data and history.
By having an effective asset tracking system, facilities can deter the misuse and mismanagement of their equipment. Assets can be tracked in real-time, thereby improving facility accountability and reducing any vulnerabilities to asset management.
4. More efficient expiration date management
All equipment eventually fails and must be decommissioned or disposed of. How long equipment can maintain optimal performance boils down to preventive maintenance. Asset tracking and maintenance solutions ensure facilities can keep equipment at maximum operational efficiency for the longest time.
With medical supplies and equipment accounting for the bulk of healthcare expenditures, regular equipment tune-ups extend the usability of assets. Additionally, continuously monitoring assets can improve asset utilization, furthering the availability of mission-critical devices and equipment.
With healthcare facilities experiencing increased cost pressures, prolonging the operational productivity of medical equipment supports more efficient cost controls. Greater operational efficiency enhances the value of current medical investments, enabling facilities to defer capital costs.
5.Optimizes asset management decision making
Asset management solutions are not limited to equipment performance and tracking. A critical role that asset management software plays in healthcare is facilitating more informed decision making.
By reconciling all operational and performance data onto one software platform, management can strategically align organizational objectives with financial decisions and actions.
Through a centralized data platform, facility management can derive accurate and actionable information. Using a reporting tool across departments, the organization can identify the performance of medical assets and their contribution to patient care.
By knowing the performance and deficiency characteristics of all physical assets, healthcare organizations are able to establish a more strategic decision-making process regarding their devices and equipment.
This is advantageous for organizations looking to make investments in future healthcare technology.
The digitization of healthcare necessitates the need for asset management automation. The manual processing of medical assets no longer contributes to operational efficiency.
But even with a large volume of asset management tools and services available, which is the right one?
The leading asset management services in Dubai recommend that your facility have clear objectives and expectations. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your asset management software will enable you to evaluate configuration possibilities and features effectively.
Once you’ve determined a shortlist of software candidates, check your selected companies’ reviews and ratings.
Analyze the support model of your shortlisted candidates as, with any products, problems will likely arise. However, the technical support team of your software provider should be able to address your queries and solve your concerns quickly.
Andrew Piechowiak is the General Manager – Asset Management Business at SGE Group International, a multidisciplinary group of companies with core business interests in Asset Lifecycle Management, Land Development and Software. Aladdin is SGE’s proprietary Asset Lifecycle Management software, designed to empower FM, Maintenance and Asset teams across multiple industry sectors.