Cleaner data for better healthcare technology and facility management

August 13, 2019
Parts And Service
From the August 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

For device categories, group them together by risk groups to start. Then, prioritize based on top issues such as AEM, PM Procedures, or those items that technicians can’t even identify based on the information captured. Choose whether to spell out or use abbreviations, then be consistent throughout (i.e., O2 versus Oxygen). Lastly, filter by key words to group common names together for easy standardization (i.e., “pump”, “anesthesia”, “defib”, “analyzer”, etc.). This allows you to easily identify and fix outliers.

For model cleanup, place your newly cleaned device categories and manufacturers with the model names/numbers for easier comparison using the VLOOKUP feature in Excel. Sort by manufacturer and device category to get them grouped. Then, strip out all special characters to find duplicates. Focus on models you know your staff has trouble with due to many brand names. Lastly, create a model name field if you don’t have one.

Importantly, go out and physically capture information that can’t be discerned by what’s been entered into the database. Remember, you’re likely dealing with decades of garbage.

Once you have your manufacturer, model, and device categories cleaned up, go through your CMMS codes and clean them out to the bare minimum, and clearly define each code and how it is to be used. You do not want to have a situation where multiple people are doing the exact same work and are coding it different ways due to ambiguity in your system. Once again, there will need to be extensive staff training to eliminate any lack of understanding.

Audit the data regularly
Once you reach the point where you can trust the data you have, make sure you have an audit process in place to keep things clean. The resulting value will include the ability to calculate true cost of service ratios, provide your leadership with valuable capital planning information, defend your alternative equipment maintenance (AEM) program, be able to do effective benchmarking, and overall, increase the value you bring to your organization.

Alan Gresch
About the author: Alan Gresch is vice president, customer success, healthcare at Accruent, the world's leading provider of physical resource management solutions. Accruent serves over half of all U.S. hospitals, and its healthcare clients include Tenet Healthcare and Mayo Clinic. Prior to joining Accruent, Alan was vice president of capital technology management at Alpha Source, and held similar roles at TriMedx Healthcare Technology Management and Alexian Brothers Health System. Alan is a member, and past chair, of AAMI's Healthcare Technology Leadership Committee, and has recently published the Healthcare Technology Management Manual for AAMI.
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