40 Healthcare Facilities Go Paperless and Automate
Improving the quality and controlling the cost of healthcare every bit the challenge in Scotland as it is elsewhere in the world. That’s why the Scottish government recently mandated a major reorganization of its National Health Service to create greater operational accountability to justify costs and provide more efficient patient care. This put NHS facilities managers under increased pressure, a challenge that made facilities management professionals at the National Health Service-Lanarkshire unit spring into action and take a long, hard look at its business processes and supporting information technologies.
What that analysis found, says NHS-Lanarkshire Technical Services Manager Maureen McGinn, was not encouraging.
“We had incompatible systems across multiple services,” McGinn notes. “We also had a poorly structured management approach to asset and labor task management. Finally, we had no consistent approach to reporting and measuring performance.” To address those issues, an experienced project team was assembled that mapped out goals and implemented ARCHIBUS to centralize data on a single platform that supports the facilities department’s goals with a more rigorous, standardized approach to processes and metrics.
Web-Based Help Desk Adds Self-Service Efficiency
Among the FM department’s most urgent tasks was also among the most basic: close the gap between older system/process inefficiencies and customer expectations. That meant eliminating a largely phone-based intake process for work orders and creating an online, self-service system for inputting work requests and tracking the results to improve customer satisfaction. The system would, among other goals, eliminate duplicate or lost work orders and improve communications with customers that would aid in raising FM service satisfaction levels.
The web-based system resulted in a nearly 60% drop in phone-initiated work requests as users switched to online service requests. In addition, the ARCHIBUS work order system enabled service performance measurement and benchmarking. In addition, the creation of a consistent reporting approach permitted the identification of best practices and areas for improvement.
The ARCHIBUS-based performance monitoring system saw reactive maintenance response times drop from nearly 10 days to approximately two days, and had a similar drop in planned maintenance response times from roughly 35 days down to approximately 5 days. In both cases, the higher level of work request/work order automation enabled the department to more than double the number of jobs it could handle.
Paperless Monitoring System Achieves Government Goal
NHS-Lanarkshire is also the only branch of the National Health Service in Scotland to comply with a government initiative to successfully integrate all aspects of real estate and facilities management online using a single CAFM system. To that end, NHS-Lanarkshire moved from a completely paper-driven system for work orders to a completely ARCHIBUS-based automated online system, with tasks such as asset audits now carried out on hand-held devices.
“The benefits of the ARCHIBUS implementation and development projects were clear and compelling,” notes McGinn. “We established performance measurement and benchmarking while also increasing efficiency and effectiveness of resource utilization through a holistic approach to service delivery.
“In addition to enhancing customer satisfaction and improving reporting transparency, we accomplished another very important goal: we enhanced the reputation of the facilities department itself.”
As NHS-Lanarkshire continues to refine and expand its ARCHIBUS implementation, the healthcare provider is looking forward to implementing a totally web-based mobile system for facilities management operations as well as complete the move to ARCHIBUS Web Central for all its business processes.
“In addition to developing strategic dashboard reporting as one of our newest goals, “adds McGinn, “we also expect continued significant reductions in paper-based systems as ARCHIBUS capabilities are rolled out beyond work orders to other areas of facilities and real estate management.”