Five Minutes with Steve Beard

By: Avaap
Date: February 23, 2016

Infor’s Global EAM Director discusses the strategic value of enterprise asset management delivered in the cloud and how it helps improve patient safety while ensuring hospital facilities and medical devices operate in a state of high performance.

What trends are prompting healthcare organizations to look at a stepped up approach to facilities management? What’s the opportunity with enterprise asset management?

In 2015, several hospitals identified building maintenance issues, including poorly performing ventilation systems, improper sewage removal, and inefficient water systems, putting patient safety at risk and facility management higher on the business agenda. The Joint Commission (TJC) audits hospitals to make sure facilities are safe and medical devices are managed to the manufacturer’s guidelines for performance of calibration and maintenance.

More organizations are looking at enterprise asset management to facilitate compliance with TJC standards. EAM improves visibility into asset condition and maintenance history, helping healthcare organizations identify, track and repair all physical deficiencies before they impact a patient’s experience.

What are the pitfalls with a manual approach and how can Infor software help healthcare organizations optimize asset performance, reduce risk and facilitate compliance with industry regulations?

Hospitals that manage assets on spreadsheets increase the risk of being out-of-compliance with TJC requirements or scoring low on patient satisfaction scores, which can result in the loss of Medicare funding. Infor EAM delivers the power to improve capital asset management in ways that increase reliability, enhance predictive maintenance, ensure regulatory compliance, and support sustainability initiatives. Infor EAM is a natural extension to Infor Financial Management and Human Capital Management solutions, enabling hospital systems to drive the business efficiently, economically and in compliance with TJC safety standards.

How are healthcare organizations benefitting from EAM deployed in the cloud?

Cloud transitions expenditures from capital outlay to operational expenses. That makes costs predictable and budgeting more accurate. Going to the cloud eliminates the need to buy and maintain hardware, networking, and the platform, all of which depreciates over time.  Instead, that responsibility is shifted to the cloud services provider.

Cloud also mitigates software deployment fatigue. Multi-year projects often result in organizations stalling at the first phase of the deployment, limiting return on investment and access to transformational technologies that occur during later stages, including advanced reporting capabilities, analytics, and streamlined workflow.

Cloud helps organizations keep current with innovation and product enhancements, particularly for those without sufficient internal technology expertise or bandwidth. The service level agreement from the cloud services provider addresses the level of security, performance reliability, and scalability, alleviating internal IT resources from the administrative burden.

IT management requirements also diminish when organizations move to the cloud, helping facility management and clinical engineering groups focus on their core responsibilities while gaining better visibility into building infrastructure and medical device performance. This ensures the facility is managed to TJC standards and that medical devices are properly calibrated and operating in a state of high performance.

How does an enterprise asset management solution contribute to better quality care and higher patient satisfaction?

The facilities management group is responsible for the health and environmental safety of the hospital, which has direct impact on patient safety and quality of care. An enterprise asset management solution provides real-time information into the condition of assets as well as their availability, ensuring medical professionals have access to medical devices where and when they need them.

We have some good customer use cases around mobility, integrated RFID technology, improved inventory control, better scheduling, and more. At end of day, facilities and biomedical directors are responsible for making sure facilities are safe, healthy and clean and space is well allocated, ultimately influencing how a patient responds to the patient satisfaction survey.

When evaluating an EAM solution and implementation partner, what are the key considerations for customers?

Picking the right software and system integrator is a mission-critical decision. The right enterprise asset management solution should offer breadth of functionality, ease-of-use, configurability, delivered reporting for TJC audits, mobility, and integration to back-office systems.

System integrators with healthcare industry experience, knowledge of Infor software and familiarity with the underlying technology are necessary for success. In addition to evaluating general qualifications, check references to validate engagements are completed on time and on budget and look for a partner who will be dedicated to your success for the long-term.

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