FM streamlined for eight Victorian hospitals

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Epworth Hospital

With the help of its new online facility management system, Victoria’s largest not-for-profit private healthcare group, Epworth HealthCare, is to open two new hospitals without adding more facilities management staff, and will open a third hospital in Geelong in 2016.

Epworth HealthCare runs eight hospitals in Victoria, and was using a number of inconsistent paper- and computer-based systems to manage 10,000 assets worth more than $1 billion.

With 1200 hospital beds, 5000 staff and still growing, the group was struggling with incompatable data and duplication and needed to centralise its facilities management.

The group has now implemented a new management system, OneHealth, from Australian software developer TechnologyOne. It manages financials, supply chain, assets, payments, governance, risk management, planning and budgeting.

Group engineering and facilities manager, Neil Caughey says Epworth has been able to get consistency across the whole facilities group in terms of corrective and preventative maintenance and asset compliance.

“We have an obligation to ensure that every single asset performs the way it should, and that the asset is safe to use… We’re now all working off the same maintenance schedules,” he says.

Web-based

The hospital has deployed web-based Work Requests to many staff, including nurses’ stations, allowing all staff to directly raise work requests to streamline processes. As a result, Epworth is now managing up to 1000 work orders a week.

“We are building up a database of asset information and using the system for compliance, but we have started to use it to help us manage future purchases as well,” says Caughey.

Epworth is also using the software to manage its $50 million worth of biomedical assets and help its biomedical department pioneer treatments and services for patients.

To keep at the forefront of medical advances, Epworth invests all surplus funds back into training staff, developing its facilities and purchasing the latest technology.

Valerie Bommarito, manager – Group Biomedical Engineering, says Epworth has been able to configure OneHealth’s flexible template to suit its specific needs and streamline its business processes.

“The Business Intelligence (BI) tools have been really useful in helping us manage our workflow,” says Bommarito.

“In Biomed, we’ve created six BI dashboards to help us track work requests and equipment. From a managerial perspective, these dashboards have given me a way to see exactly what’s going on from my desktop. I can see which work orders are getting completed, and which are outstanding, and it has helped me to manage the department more effectively and efficiently.”

The integrated asset and contract management systems means she knows which assets are under contract and exactly how much that is costing. “Being able to capture the information has really helped a lot,” she adds.

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