The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has sparked alarm worldwide and is a stark reminder of the destructive power of infectious disease.
As hospitals face significant disruptions and a shortage of resources, they will need to adhere to infection control processes to stay safe and prevent further spread of the disease. In addition to the novel COVID-19, Hospital-Associated Infections (HAIs) contribute to approximately 3,000 deaths and more than $2 billion of excess medical spending annually.
Infectious disease outbreaks demand peak performance from hospitals. Every healthcare worker will be asked to do more with less. Unfortunately, this often leads to shortcuts that impact compliance with infection control procedures. Preparation and automation mitigate risk and reduce the spread of infection.
In northern Italy, healthcare providers are having to make tough decisions about patient care based on equipment availability. If your healthcare system does not have effective tools in place to optimize equipment utilization, response times, and turnaround times, your system could experience shortages that impact lives.
Healthcare CMMS and Asset Management in Facilities/Plant Operations and Clinical Engineering departments play a vital role in infection control and equipment availability. These solutions automate equipment tracking, request management, cyber security, temperature and humidity monitoring, and staff management. Your healthcare system can mitigate infection risk by properly scheduling and maintaining environmental systems, improving equipment utilization and staff request fulfillment times, and applying consistent medical equipment cleaning and disinfecting processes.
Hospitals need to be more diligent about environmental infection control. Hospitals should review procedures for any equipment that impacts air quality. Consider interim increased intervals for things like filter changes. Isolation rooms and other controlled-ventilation spaces, along with respiratory and other patient equipment, can have their service and maintenance events logged to include replacement of filters, decontamination of objects and room features, and recording of materials used via the work order modules.
Trained staff can be assigned the duties of properly handling soiled linens, biological waste or other infected materials. HVAC systems can have their filters replaced more aggressively, and technologies such as room and space management and IoT systems can provide crucial information at a moment's notice to help with identifying the best place for staff and patients to be.
When a hospital is scrambling to take care of patients during an outbreak, it is crucial to follow the established cleaning process and to know where equipment is for immediate access and availability.
For example, if equipment is not tracked and nurses hoard critical equipment (e.g., IV pumps in closets) because they think it will take hours to get one when requested, it prevents equipment from being available in an emergency and could increase the spread of infection. Increasing equipment availability and utilization also dramatically decreases shortages and reduces the supply chain demand.
By working with nursing and EVS staff to ensure equipment is available, has been cleaned and disinfected, and utilizing your CMMS and asset management solutions to rapidly respond to cleaning requests, your organization can keep up with demand during emergencies.
A modern Request Management portal with mobile capabilities aggregates requests, streamlines workflows and notifies and updates the proper teams. In addition to automating equipment requests and workflow, requests can be created on demand or via integrations with external solutions including EMRs.
Healthcare organizations that leverage advanced CMMS and Asset Management technology can improve infection control and better contain the spread of diseases and HAIs. In addition, systems that employ these solutions lower associated costs, increase equipment availability and offer patients, visitors and staff a better experience and greater peace of mind.
Beyond technology, Accruent experts are available to evaluate your current processes, Key Performance Indicators, and highlight step-by-step improvement recommendations to make your Healthcare Facilities and Biomedical Departments a Strategic Asset.