Acclaimed Health System Addressing Numerous Facilities Management Challenges for over a Decade with HEMS
Legacy Health is based in Portland, OR and serves Oregon and Southwest Washington with its 50+ hospitals, clinics, lab, research, and hospice locations. The health system employs over 9,000 across all locations, including a children’s hospital, two regional hospitals, and three community hospitals.*
The health system has received several recognitions over the years including a new disease-specific Gold Seal of Approval certification for Chest Pain to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center by the Joint Commission in 2013 – the first hospital to receive this certification. Legacy Health system also achieved HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 in 2013. Stage 7 is “the highest level of electronic health record adoption. Stage 7 hospitals demonstrate superior implementation and utilization of health information technology systems”. *
HIMSS Stage 7 shows how committed Legacy Health is to using technology to its fullest potential in improving day to day practices that ultimately positively impact patient outcomes. Efficiencies and enhanced quality behind the scenes allow for more time and a greater focus to be placed on patient care. A primary objective of HIMSS Stage 7 is for healthcare organizations to become “paperless”.
The Need: A Better Way to Manage Work Orders and Preventative Maintenance
Another example of this commitment is using a robust CMMS system to help manage facility operations. Starting in 2006, Legacy Health has partnered with EQ2 to use the HEMS® CMMS for management and maintenance of both biomedical and facilities equipment and assets in a “paperless fashion”. Up till that time, managing work orders and preventative maintenance was a very manual process that used basic spreadsheets – a very time consuming and cumbersome process that had the potential of being error prone. A more efficient way was needed to make sure that the processes for maintenance work was being optimized and prioritized appropriately.
Robert Ingber, the Facilities Manager at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, worked with the EQ2 Implementation Services team to install HEMS at five hospital locations with over 1500 beds combined. EQ2 performed site visits at each location where inventory was counted to verify what equipment should be loaded into HEMS and what data was needed for each item. EQ2’s standard equipment type list and other best practices were used for both implementation and also for preventative maintenance procedures going forward.
EQ2 Best Practices integrate inventory details with maintenance information, and risk value is checked to determine the minimum interval for preventative maintenance scheduling. This type of standardization leads to optimal inventory tracking and maintenance for a facility.
A Collaborative Approach to Implementation
Implementation Services built the database after completing the site visits at Legacy Health. This included the equipment inventories for their five hospitals as well as completed drawings for both the smoke / fire compartment and environmental zone inspection programs. Reports were also built based on the requirements determined during the site visits through meetings with the various members of the management staff who would need regular access to key metrics and other data.
Implementation Services also wrote manuals and procedures, and documented environmental zones so that Legacy Health personnel had all the reference materials they would need to make the program a success right at their fingertips.
On-site training was provided at all five hospitals to make sure that the engineering staff and all HEMS users (including for those who may not have been very computer savvy) were comfortable with using the system effectively going forward.
Robert says that customer service has been a key part of the success of using HEMS for maintenance management, even beyond implementation. He says that the team at EQ2 is very responsive and timely on addressing needs as they come up, whether it’s a new report for regulatory compliance or an upgrade to the software program to make the department more efficient.
In addition to using HEMS to manage over half a million work orders in less than a decade and performing tens of thousands of optimized preventative maintenance procedures every year, Legacy Health has also found that preparing for compliance inspections is far easier and complete due to the data now available through the HEMS program along with the complete array of reports designed to be easily interpreted by a regulatory surveyor. Fire and life safety broken into different sections of the building helps them with inspections for the Joint Commission. Detailed smoke / fire compartment drawings used during routine inspections help them assure the smoke tight integrity of the compartments allowing for orderly horizontal evacuation from one compartment to another in a fire or other emergency. The results of the inspections are documented in reports that are used to show compliance for a Joint Commission survey.
Robert also notes some of the other benefits: receiving automatic updates, improved communications, and follow-up on things being completed. Surveys presented to the user upon completion of work orders through HEMS alert the management staff to problems and other things that they otherwise wouldn’t be aware of – in other words, it closes communication gaps.