Healthcare facilities have suffered through a number of challenges since the outbreak of COVID-19. Besides dealing with a surge of patients, many are facing staff shortages that are as much as 30 percent higher than they were in the years prior to the pandemic, as well as financial challenges and supply chain issues. Medical facilities such as urgent care clinics, vision centers, and dental offices have had to completely alter the way they operate, especially when it comes to their facilities maintenance operations.
Facilities maintenance impacts the patient experience
Today, employees in charge of reporting facilities maintenance needs may also be tasked with related responsibilities, like implementing new sanitation policies throughout a healthcare facility. With these additional responsibilities, nurses and physician assistants may need to take time away from their primary role as patient care professionals.
However, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not trained to be dedicated facilities experts. They can’t afford to divide their time between their important work as patient advocates and the ongoing maintenance needs that arise around their workplace.
Patients seeking healthcare services deserve much more than merely casual attention from their care providers. The natural operational tension that occurs as a result of trying to manage conflicting responsibilities like facilities and patient care can have a serious negative impact on the overall patient experience.
How to ease the burden of facilities management for non-facilities employees
Easing the burden of facilities management for employees that do not specialize in the field can make a world of difference in your healthcare center.
Solution 1: Make Facilities Management Simple and Accessible
One solution to ease the burden on healthcare providers in a facilities management context is to make systems as user-friendly as possible.
Using a platform designed to streamline every aspect of facilities management can serve as a single point of truth from the moment the work order gets created all the way through to when the work order has been completed. Being able to keep track of each work order and the different services being performed on a facility all on one convenient platform helps to simplify the process, make smarter maintenance choices, and ensure more cost-effective solutions.
Additionally, combining technology and expert service will reduce costs while getting improved performance from facilities management technicians. With powerful management tools built into native platforms, staff can easily create work orders and the service technicians know exactly what to do and when to do it.
Solution 2: Implement Smarter Maintenance Strategies
Preventative maintenance strategies help ensure that critical equipment, like a facility's HVAC system is running properly and efficiently. When the right maintenance is performed before a problem arises, the risk of a costly outage and emergency repair is reduced.
While having preventative maintenance strategies in place can help staff stay focused on patient care, it's still important to have a strategy in place for when something goes wrong without warning. This is where reactive strategies come into play. Rather than being forced to spend time and resources sourcing repair services, staff can simply initiate the reactive strategy for that piece of equipment. Technical support teams will then be able to dispatch vendors to address the problem before it escalates.
A well-functioning maintenance strategy is essential to the success of any modern-day facilities portfolio. To make sure your facilities maintenance strategy is meeting your needs, consider working with a team of dedicated experts. Get in touch with SMS Assist to learn more about our programs: weknowFM@smsassist.com.