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Implementation Plan & Client Support Key to NorthCrest Medical Center Success

By Amy Myers
Apr 08, 2013

Maintenance, Healthcare, Case Studies, Facilities Management

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NorthCrest Medical Center in Tennessee maintains 320,000 square feet, which includes a 220,000 square foot hospital with 109 beds. They needed a work order system that allowed them to track and report on maintenance activities, so they could tell where resources were spent. Steve Sanders, Director of Plant Operations and Security, shares how he transitioned from a paper system to FacilityDude’s MaintenanceEdge and the improvements he has experienced.

Here is their story:

Our paper system at NorthCrest Medical Center had its challenges. It did not allow us to track and report on our maintenance activities. We did not have the ability to prioritize work or see the department’s work from a high level, such as technician workload capacity. What we had were books with previous work orders and information, but it was cumbersome to locate information and we were not tracking costs. We had no way to analyze data. We needed a system with tracking and reporting capabilities. FacilityDude’s MaintenanceEdge fit these criteria.

Since we were coming from paper, and to aid in staff adoption, internally we created an implementation plan that would ensure a smooth transition and staff adoption. Our goal was to roll out MaintenanceEdge for reactive and preventive maintenance at the beginning of our fiscal year in July. To allow the staff time to learn the system at their convenience, we decided internally to start putting work orders into the system in May. After we got comfortable with how to input work orders, in June we started setting up PM schedules and using Work Order™ along with Planned Maintenance™. FacilityDude’s client services team looked things over and helped us ensure that everything was set up correctly. This allowed us to get a real understanding of how day-to-day operations would work before we fully deployed the system to the department. When our fiscal year started, we were comfortable with the system and began using it exclusively. The staff has done a good job adapting to MaintenanceEdge because it’s user friendly. The on-going training and support is very helpful.

Another reason implementation went well was because I explained to the technicians why we had to switch to a CMMS. One of the main focuses was conveying we needed to make this change and they are part of the team that will improve the department’s processes and our efficiency. Initially, all the technicians were responsible for was taking the paper work order from MaintenanceEdge that are prioritized and placed in their individual mailboxes, completing the work and writing on the paper what they did and what materials were used. The completed work order is put in the “completed” box to be closed out. Technicians check their mailbox multiple times a day and any immediate needs are dispatched over the radio and paperwork is done afterwards.

Later on in the implementation plan, technicians will be more involved with actually updating their work in the system. For now there are three people including myself who manage the work orders in the system. Eventually technicians will be inputting work and I will just periodically double-check work orders have been imputed properly.

MaintenanceEdge streamlined the request process and improved communication throughout the facility. Staff was used to stopping technicians in the hallway and making a request. But now, the request has to be made through the department, which took some adjustment. Technicians can’t do anything without a work order unless it is an emergency.

Having the system makes me feel more in control. I no longer have to go through papers to see what technicians are working on. First thing every morning I go into the system, look at the work in progress, and see the priority work. If I need to redirect technicians, I can. That was impossible to do with the paper system. There was no way to maneuver everything that was going on. I really like having that visibility into the department’s work now.

MaintenanceEdge has improved our PM work. The PM schedules have made handling that work and documentation easier. Previously we knew there were some things we weren’t documenting. For regulatory reasons, this is a great system. We can pull something up, print it, and show them what we have done rather than tell them what we did because if you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it. I like that part of the system. When The Joint Commission comes in and they see we have a PM program and can provide documentation, we anticipate they are going to be satisfied and move elsewhere.

One of the main improvements has been the ability to track labor hours and projects. We recently sold a medical office suite and we had completed a major remodeling project before it was sold. By tracking the project in the system, we can run reports that provide a summary of the work to take to our CFO. The three major project costs were plumbing, electrical and construction and the reports can drill down and show everything we spent. Having the ability to track projects and know exactly what they cost for both labor and materials is very valuable.

The data is searchable multiple ways; we just go in and select what we want to see. It’s pretty easy. When we needed to run a report containing the work orders in a fiscal year, it took longer to print the report than to create it. It’s not many clicks at all. We can do it very quickly. We plan to run a report on a regular basis that shows how many hours and how much money we spent at each department in the hospital and then all the outside buildings. That will help build the case if we need more help. If data shows we are 80-90% productive and have 150 work orders in progress, then we have justification for more staff. When you present to a financial person, they are interested in the numbers.

We are very pleased we implemented MaintenanceEdge. We are more efficient now and know what projects cost and can access documentation when we need it. It really opened everyone’s eyes and helped administrators understand where we spend time and money. Budget planning will be easier because we can anticipate what future budgets and costs will be based on the data. We are getting a good value for what we have purchased. MaintenanceEdge is a great value and provides us with exactly what we need.

NorthCrest Medical Bar Graph

Tracking projects in MaintenanceEdge allows NorthCrest Medical Center to know the total cost for both time and materials.

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