Healthcare Facilities Management: Maintenance Scheduling
by HEPACART on May 13, 2016
Part of being in healthcare facilities management is accepting the fact that your job is never really done. Even when it seems like you might get through your To Do list for one day, an urgent issue can pop up and leave you swamped once again.
When you are constantly juggling critical issues, regular maintenance tasks can be pushed down the list quickly. However, by investing a bit of time into how you schedule your maintenance, you can make things run more smoothly and give yourself more time to address the things that come up throughout the day.
Schedule Regular Maintenance as Early as Possible
Many maintenance tasks cannot be predicted. You do not know when a drain might be backed up or exactly when a lightbulb will go dead. That means when you have maintenance tasks that you know must be performed on a regular basis you should take advantage of that knowledge. For instance, you should know how often you need to perform regular maintenance and inspections on your elevator because that rarely changes. Having this knowledge ready means that you can schedule those maintenance appointments well in advance, taking that scheduling task off of your plate and leaving room for other things. Essentially, whenever you can schedule something in advance, you should.
Utilize Effective Scheduling Software Solutions
No matter what the size of your healthcare facility, it is likely that your maintenance crew has plenty of work to do. To effectively direct them and prioritize their tasks, it is important to use the right scheduling tools. For most teams, a centralized scheduling software that is easy to use and easy to access for all relevant team members is the best solution. Many hospitals already have this type of system in place, but facilities management should always weigh in when the software is being upgraded or changed to ensure that the new software will meet their scheduling needs.
Put Patient Safety First
If there are a list of items that need to be addressed, which is certainly common, healthcare facilities management staff should be sure to prioritize those tasks that pose the greatest threat to patient safety. For instance, if an air filtration system in a patient area needs to be repaired or upgraded, that would take precedence over the same problem in a staff area. Other critical systems in the facility, like electrical systems and generator backups, should also take priority. When patients are safe and well cared for, those comforts that come along with a well-maintained facility will be the icing on the cake of their hospital experience.
Include Equipment in Scheduling
Scheduling time for personnel to complete maintenance tasks is essential, but those crews must also have access to the right equipment to complete those tasks effectively. Whatever scheduling system you use, be sure that it includes scheduling for maintenance tools and equipment, including dust containment carts. Otherwise, you may be stuck with workers who cannot complete their jobs effectively because they do not have the right equipment.
Scheduling does not have to be a major hassle in the life of healthcare facilities management. By taking into account these scheduling best practices, you can ensure that you are using your staff and your equipment effectively while maintaining a high level of care for every patient.