Clinical EAM 

Whitepaper

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Introduction 

Better patient outcomes result from clinical equipment that is safe and maintained consistent with manufacturer specification. Healthcare technology management affects brand, productivity, liability and compliance. Fewer incidents, a smaller number of claims and healthier patients is the goal. Excellence in care requires that each of these requirements be met simultaneously. 

Full life-cycle clinical asset management can no longer be achieved using legacy CMMS. 

A modern, cloud-based alternative is required to meet increasingly complex and demanding regulatory, patient care and safety requirements for healthcare technology management. 

Proper full life-cycle management of clinical equipment affects every care provider, independent of size or location. For hospital systems defined by consolidation, the issues are more complex. Consolidation is perpetuating old CMMS or resulting in multiple, disparate clinical asset management solutions. Even for smaller, standalone providers, antiquated solutions remain in place today. 

Perpetuating legacy CMMS has left clinical engineering lagging in terms of modern technology. Transformation results from adopting a flexible, mobile, cloud-based solution for better work order management, patient care, safety and productivity. Properly deployed, next-generation platforms lower capital and operating expenses and reduce risk for the healthcare system. Nuvolo provides a modern, cloud-based alternative to CMMS that is easy to use and simple to deploy.

State of the Healthcare Industry 

Historically, healthcare providers were measured on throughput and patient volume. Demographics and the ACA have changed that forever. Today, patients demand measurable value and positive outcomes. With ACA introducing nearly 15 million new customers to the marketplace, expectations are higher for every participant in the patient care cycle. Brand is more important than ever before. Providers want creativity and innovation in patient care and safety. Data, analytics and transparency matter. Even the drug makers and OEMs are listening more carefully. Healthcare is a growth business, and as each participant in the care cycle leans in, there will incremental benefit for patients. 

Traditional concerns about healthcare being resistant, unwilling or unable to innovate no longer apply. There are billions in investment capital driving transformation and the adoption of new healthcare technology. An epicenter of investment is medical equipment. Clinical engineering must adapt to this changing environment or risk being left further behind. New medical equipment acquisition and maintenance represent one of the largest expenditures for healthcare providers. 

Innovation will follow investment. 

Effectively managing this asset class with a modern, cloud-based platform is essential.

Consolidation 

The healthcare industry is consolidating rapidly. Smaller providers are challenged with scale, EMR, compliance and patient volume. Large providers are acquiring with the promise of better economics and care delivery. Innovation in healthcare technology management enables smaller providers to remain relevant and larger health systems to deliver on the promise of bigger is better. A second, more pervasive wave of consolidation is also underway. 

New infrastructure models for healthcare service management are being adopted at an accelerated rate. 

Legacy client-server applications, systems, infrastructure and technology are being transformed and replaced with contemporary, cloud-based platforms like Nuvolo. 

Historically viewed as a maintenance-only organization, the role of clinical engineering in the era of consolidation is evolving. Modern healthcare technology management means innovative care, improved safety, prescriptive risk management and innovative data capture, trending and analytics. Clinical engineering is on the front lines to enable better, safer and more cost-effective patient care. As medical devices become more network-aware and susceptible to security threats, visibility will only expand. Platforms for healthcare technology management are strategic for modern healthcare providers.

Strategies for Change 

Many CMMS were built decades ago and lag in both innovation and capability. In an IT context, CMMS is the equivalent of using Intel 486-based computers and Windows NT servers with modems for connectivity. 

These legacy platforms are misaligned with the demands of a modern, mobile-enabled healthcare organization. 

Innovation and cloud adoption are pervasive in the patient care cycle except clinical engineering systems. The root cause is resistance to change and fear of new technology. Solution providers are culpable as well for not offering simple, modern alternatives that are easy to purchase, adopt and deploy. Nuvolo understands that strategies for change must be holistic and include a platform, mobile-enablement, usability and training to drive adoption and utilization.

Simple & Flexible 

The goal is to drive strategies for change. 

It starts with a modern platform, but the catalyst is a simple end-user experience on any device. Investing in legacy CMMS means leveraging what was built into an old application a long time ago. These solutions are one-size-fits-all models utilizing in-house infrastructure and taxed to meet the demands of a contemporary patient care environment. Legacy CMMS were not built for and cannot respond effectively to change. Enhancing a workflow or adding a new field or form takes substantial time, effort and cost. 

Nuvolo’s modern, cloud-based platform makes things easier. New fields, forms and workflow are enabled in just a few minutes. No technology staff or programmers are needed. Enhancing the user experience in real time extends an already very mature out-of-the-box capability. In other words, simplicity and flexibility are built into the platform. The outcome means responding to end-user needs directly and operationalizing new or modified requirements the same day.

Summing Up 

Patient care is being delivered with increasingly sophisticated and network-aware medical devices. Increased complexity is creating more demands, visibility and accountability for healthcare technology management. There is an arms race underway, as the battle for new and returning patients is being fought based on the best medical devices always being safe and available. Risk and liability continue to grow as competition among providers becomes fiercer. Patients want the best medical equipment to always be safe and available. Outcomes are quantified and published, and modern marketing strategies are utilized to attract new healthcare consumers based on proven results. 

Everyone in the patient care cycle has an important role to play. 

The same is true with healthcare consumers. A more sophisticated patient population is doing more research, assessing results, evaluating available healthcare technology and comparing risk profiles. This is the context in which healthcare leadership must view clinical engineering and its impact on the patient care cycle. Healthcare technology management is no longer the team on the lower level of the hospital that fixes the gear. 

A modern clinical engineering function, powered by Nuvolo, plays an important role in ensuring the proper care, safety and health outcomes of the patient community and the long term financial strength of the healthcare provider.