Clinical approach to asset management of critical medical equipment
The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), Melbourne’s oldest hospital, benefits from cost efficiencies, increased productivity and improved medical outcomes through using Hardcat asset management software to account for the maintenance schedule, storage and usage of all equipment used in its clinical operations.
Established in 1848, RMH is one of Victoria’s leading clinical and teaching hospitals. Its two city campuses utilise a large array of medical equipment for diagnosis, treatment, surgical procedures and recovery.
As its core objective, RMH’s Clinical Engineering Department (CED) is trusted with ensuring that over 10,000 individual assets are locatable, maintained, tested and in a reliable working condition at all times.
Its inventory includes everything from Residual Current Devices protecting electric power outlets, through to patient monitoring systems in critical care environments. Many of these items are portable and used across multiple departments within the organisation’s two hospitals, dispersed satellite clinics and Aged Care facilities.
Ms Nicola Donaldson, CED’s Deputy and Quality Manager said: Our previous asset management system was unable to support department objectives to increase automation of work orders for scheduled maintenance.
We wanted to eliminate some of our old paper-based systems to make the generation and management of planned preventative maintenance work orders easier while also allowing our customers to quickly raise job requests when malfunctions or incidents call for repairs.
Deficiencies in the old system had started to create unacceptable risks for RMH in governance, regulatory compliance and cost efficiency.
RMH CED selected a range of Hardcat tools to support the upgrade of its asset management processes. This included the core asset register, its preventative maintenance and service desk/help desk modules as well as CatScan licenses which provided in-field work order management via handheld devices. It has subsequently introduced the Hardcat stock management module to better manage the spare parts that are kept on hand.
An ISO9001-accredited system, Hardcat allows CED to take a holistic or siloed view of asset groups or asset classes while also facilitating floor-plan mapping to track locations. A combination of barcodes and handheld devices is used to capture and present real-time data about the status of individual assets.
Where we were previously working for the database, now, the database works for us. We are better able to account for the large number of assets under management which has contributed to making the Department much more productive and allowed us to prioritise resource allocation. Just about all of the governance and compliance risks that were inherent in our old in-house system have been mitigated through the implementation of Hardcat. CED Director, Mr Jack Davie said.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital now has an easy-to-use, intuitive solution that can identify any given asset’s location and repair status, at any time, by anyone in the department.
Lakshmi Thiru, a Biomedical engineer in RMH’s CED said: Implementing the Stock Management module has been the driver of a substantial transformation within our department. It has significantly improved our processes for storing and managing spare parts which has significantly increased productivity. We can now view an image of a part to help locate it quickly as well as set alerts so we are notified when minimum stock thresholds are breached. We now use this function to generate a weekly stock re-order report.
HARDCAT benefits at a glance
- Support mechanism for OHS checklists
- Ease of finding asset locations and repair status
- Real-time tracking of equipment
- Automated alerts when maintenance is due
- Cultural change from reactive to proactive asset management
- Risk mitigation against equipment malfunction
- Efficiencies in maintaining data integrity through the use of handheld devices
- Prioritisation of Work Orders (Critical versus Non-Critical equipment)
- Defined repair procedures within Work Order including progress check-list
- More accurate forecasting through visibility of replacement cycles
- Supports ISO9000 process
- Easy bulk changes and repetitive process definition