For most of us, our experiences of medical facilities are as a patient, rather than as a member of staff. It’s therefore easy to overlook just how crucial effective asset management in healthcare organisations is when it comes to ensuring patients receive the very best care.
After all, a patient’s condition can change in seconds. And even in situations that aren’t quite so ‘life or death’, it’s still crucial for medical professionals to be able to quickly locate and source all manner of specialised medical equipment.
So, let’s look at just some of the ways in which healthcare providers better managing their assets – including through the use of suitable software – can greatly help improve outcomes.
What is asset management in the healthcare system?
Asset management in the healthcare system is the process of managing the various machinery, equipment and other physical assets that healthcare organisations – such as hospitals – depend on in order to provide the services they do.
As with asset management in other sectors, this process involves managing physical assets in the most efficient and cost-effective possible way.
What are healthcare assets?
Healthcare facilities make use of an extremely wide range of physical assets. Typical examples include the equipment needed to provide healthcare, such as wheelchairs, mobile beds and MRI machines.
However, the definition of ‘asset’ for asset management purposes can also include broader physical instructures and systems like the air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, ventilation and electrical systems that make up healthcare premises.
What is the best asset management process and how can it be maintained?
There are various characteristics of the most effective asset management system for a healthcare setting. While different sites naturally differ greatly in the nature and scale of the equipment and infrastructure they have to manage, there should be a consistent focus on ensuring critical assets are continually maintained, tested and preserved in reliable working condition. After all, the consequences of any equipment failure can be far worse than just ‘downtime’.
Another common characteristic of healthcare asset management today, is the use of an asset management software platform that helps make these complicated and potentially overwhelming processes more efficient and easier to handle.
Ultimately, any medical environment must be kept clean and safe. The right asset management process helps make this a reality, while enabling healthcare organisations to optimise workflows, bolster productivity, and generate higher returns on investment (ROIs).
Surprisingly, even today, too many healthcare facilities still depend on ‘pen and paper’ or spreadsheet arrangements for managing their assets, which bring risks like human error and data loss. Increasingly, organisations providing medical care are looking to comprehensive software solutions like ACMS UK’s Vision platform with its Asset Management Module.
What are the benefits of asset management in healthcare?
Deploying the most effective asset management process at your healthcare site – characterised by the most efficient tracking, auditing and maintenance of crucial equipment and infrastructure – can bring a variety of benefits to staff and patients alike.
Helps to improve patient care
The reason any healthcare organisation exists, is to provide patients with the highest possible standard of care. However, this is much more difficult to achieve if healthcare professionals constantly have to attend to other tasks, such as tracking down missing equipment or dealing with unplanned maintenance or repair work.
Any unanticipated issues with your healthcare organisation’s assets can have a knock-on effect on the service that patients receive, including such aspects as waiting times and the availability of beds.
Putting in place the most suitable asset management system can therefore be instrumental in ensuring personnel are not tied up with time-consuming manual tasks that force them to spend less time directly caring for patients.
Ensures safety and compliance through timely audits
There is nothing of more critical importance to the operation of a healthcare facility than ensuring the safety of patients. To this end, various safety laws and regulations help ensure that medical care facilities are accountable for any failings in this area.
Not complying with the latest safety regulations can therefore have even more serious consequences for a healthcare facility than those related directly to patient welfare.
An asset management system like ACMS UK’s Vision solution allows for the easier auditing of crucial healthcare equipment and infrastructure. It enables staff to keep track of all inspections that are required for assets, and the data related to this, in order to produce the necessary audit and maintenance reports and ensure compliance.
Several years ago, a poll of 1,000 nurses indicated, that at least one in three respondents spent an hour or more per shift searching for medical equipment to use with their patients, any measures that can be taken to reduce such wasted time in healthcare facilities surely have to be a good thing.
Implementing a formalised asset management process means that vital tools and equipment can be more quickly and easily located. It also allows for asset maintenance and downtime to be planned for quieter periods, thereby minimising disruption on-site. Both of these effects translate into higher productivity for those working on the premises.
Managing assets saves money
While the management of assets can be an inherently expensive process, costs can be much reduced with an asset management system in place. It provides you with the data and insights needed to coordinate orders, inventory and maintenance more easily. This could allow your healthcare facility to save money more often through – for example – bulk buying and economies of scale.
Using an asset management platform like Vision makes it a simpler process to plan future areas of expenditure, and ensure that existing assets are not as easily lost or stolen. This, in turn, enables your staff to greatly lower the costs involved in replacing tools and equipment.
Gain insights through better reporting
The responsible management of assets in any organisation involves keeping track of audits and data, as part of an emphasis on compliance and reporting. This allows the organisation to make more informed decisions in relation to the assets lifecycle and maintenance.
Depending on a more informal and manual systems, tend to mean being dependent on whatever information about an asset someone remembered to write down. With an asset management software platform in place providing all manner of up-to-the-minute data in relation to your healthcare assets’ location, status, value and more, you can compile more comprehensive reports.
Are you ready to discover everything that the Vision solution from ACMS UK could deliver for your healthcare site’s assets management process? If so, don’t wait any longer to get in touch with our team of capable and informed specialists.