The main objective of hospitals is to provide sustainable quality health care to the patients, at the best affordable rates, while maintaining acceptable health care standards. To help achieve this, the hospital has to use its assets in its daily operations.
The Assets of a hospital can be classified as follows
- Human Capital – These are the Technical Medical personnel, Nurses, Doctors, Paramedics etc
- Fixed Assets –Movable & Immovable-
Movable-These are the furniture and equipment, beddings, trolleys, wheelchairs, tables, bio-medical equipment, Ambulances
Immovable- Buildings, Land, Gardens etc
- Infrastructure – These are the interconnected physical systems, that help deliver the operations-Water piping, Boilers, power lines, switches, tanks, meters, IT equipment etc
- Intangible Assets– Software, Licenses, Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights etc
- Client’s Feedback– This can be classified under intangible Assets and forms a big pillar in the quality of services delivered. It helps to inspire confidence in the public to visit the hospital for health care, and also motivates the caregivers to continue giving their best service to help maintain positive feedback
The above Assets are interlinked and play a role in the overall quality of the healthcare and services delivered. At BlueBox Inventory Solutions we provide services and advisory in Fixed & Infrastructure Assets Management, and will focus on our area of expertise in this article, and how this practice helps hospitals to provide better healthcare quality.
At the heart of the operations are the Technical Medical people we described above, who rely on the equipment (assets) to deliver great healthcare. It means that they must have ready access to the tools and equipment, which have to be in good condition, all the time, during all the working shifts at the unit. If this “standard” is compromised, then the integrity of the quality of the services delivered will be affected too. You realize that we are talking about “Standards” here and NOT “Systems”, let me elaborate on the difference. Standards basically refers to a practice & culture of how things are supposed to be done, it’s about “what” to be done by “who’ and by “when” .It’s about procedures, training (capacity building) & planning, that then reflect on the quality of the services. Systems form a department in the Standards, meaning without Standards, Systems will always fail; and System is not Software only, Software is just part of the System, I hope you get the drift now. We have always preached for development & implementation of the Policy & Standards first; During our 20 plus years’ experience in Fixed & Infrastructure Assets Management services & advisory, we have come across many cases where organizations rush to implement expensive Systems, in the hope that it will provide solutions to the problems, before developing and implementing the Standards, and it always fails and leads to big financial loses.
Several organizations with great financial means, rushed to implement Enterprise-size software, hoping that it will solve their Assets Management issues before developing the policy, standards and “culture”. The majority have failed over the years, with the software being underutilized, dormant and the issues have persisted. That’s why it’s very important for hospitals to develop standards and practices that will improve the acquisition, usage, maintenance, repair and disposal of the assets. As a world-class standard, it is guided by the ISO 55000, which has been developed as the Global Standard for Fixed Assets Management practices. Based on our many years of experience and inquiries from hospital outfits, we have developed this training, which helps them to introduce and develop the standards, practices & cultures.
The standards will help develop a system, that will ensure that the equipment and tools used in the hospital operations are in consistently good condition, and readily accessible by all who need them, at the right location at any given time. It will also ensure that the Infrastructure that supports the operations, doesn’t break all the time, by developing procedures that guide Planned Maintenance and repair, Predictive maintenance & replacement, Reporting and financial budgetary planning for the same. When its planned, it reduces the risk of operations stalling cause of infrastructure breakdown.