Focus on service to support uptime, efficiency at the tech-intensive point-of-care

Welcome to the first in a 7-part series we’ll publish this year on important topics for healthcare CIOs. The Metro Healthcare team will share our perspectives on deploying and managing the ever-growing array of point-of-care technology that is transforming care at the bedside. I hope you will join the conversation.

Let’s kick off the series by considering three key issues related to service:

Power System Monitoring. The right mobile power strategy and workstation architecture is essential to supporting the reliable performance clinicians need at the point of care. An intelligent management and monitoring dashboard also plays a key role by providing at-a-glance insights with performance data for the workstation fleet, including power system and network connectivity for each unit. By putting this knowledge at the fingertips of your team, you can streamline fleet management and increase uptime.

To maximize benefits, look for monitoring systems that feature:

  • Web-based capabilities that ensure real-time visibility
  • Scalable design to ensure flexibility as your fleet grows
  • Robust reporting features, such as power usage rates and real-time alerts

Preventive Maintenance. As your fleet ages, you will begin to encounter staff complaints about everything from wobbly wheels and loose keyboard trays to problems with hydraulics and power systems. To keep your workstation fleet up and running, shift after shift, you’ve got to stay ahead of potential problems with a proactive maintenance program.

A key question: is PM best handled by internal staff or an outsourced partner?  Many in-house IT departments are swamped with day-to-day operations, so an outsourced solution can free up internal resources. In addition, an outsourced partner may offer more in-depth expertise in maintaining the specific equipment you are using.

With tight budgets and lean staffing, it is easy for IT and biomedical teams to look for ways to scrimp on service. But just as delaying an oil change for your car or fixing the gutters on your house, in the long run, an aggressive preventive maintenance program pays off by reducing your total cost of ownership and maximizing the life of your workstations.

Efficient Deployment. With most workstation manufacturers, workstations arrive disassembled, so highly-trained IT and biomedical teams must work as mechanics to put together the nuts and bolts of each unit. To streamline deployment, some hospitals opt for integrated, “ready-to-roll” workstations that can be quickly and efficiently deployed. Instead of devoting resources to “wrench time” assembling workstations, IT staff can focus on supporting patient care activities.

These service-related strategies enable healthcare providers to increase uptime, extend the life of equipment and maximize productivity of in-house staff. We’d like to hear your viewpoints. Do you have any tips you can share on how service programs can support quality care and efficient operations?  Join the conversation at www.PointofCareCorner.com

P.S. Join us here next month for a discussion on CPOE deployment!

Rob Sobie is vice president of healthcare marketing at Metro, a world leader in providing technology, storage and transport solutions for healthcare facilities and other industries

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