Sodexo – Asset Management: Where Efficiency Meets Patient Care

  • 24 October 2013 at 14:07
  • sodexo-AT_YOUR_REQUEST

    Ask any movie director about the secrets of a great film, and they will mention the work that goes on behind the scenes. In a hospital, it’s not that different. Improving the Quality of Life of patients, visitors and healthcare professionals is the final product. This improvement is made possible thanks to a wide range of assets that are managed by often-unseen teams of people. Maximizing the efficiency and reliability of those resources is a major challenge for hospitals around the world.

    In a healthcare environment of increased demand and tightening budgets, hospital managers have two key concerns about their assets. One is maintenance – to ensure they are safe and available to use – and the other is lifecycle management, which means replacing them at the optimum time in terms of cost and performance. Whether it’s power generation, air filtration, heating, electrical systems, water distribution or medical equipment, everything needs to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Experience in asset management makes it possible to deliver on both these counts.

    Central Manchester University Hospital Foundation Trust, one of the largest hospital complexes in Europe, is one example of how this works in practice. Sodexo manages over 500,000 assets and provides 24/7 technical services cover for five acute and non-acute hospitals within this campus. The types of assets range from patient care items, such as hoists, dental chairs and specialist beds, to medical equipment such as blood, drug and chemical fridges, fume cabinets and liquid nitrogen equipment. They also include building-related assets like elevators and ventilation systems. By carrying out a robust risk assessment and optimizing the maintenance strategy, it has been possible to reduce the number of potential incidents that would have interrupted the continuity of service.

    All of these measures are ultimately focused on one objective: improving the Quality of Life of patients, visitors and healthcare professionals. Chief among the benefits for patients is the consistent provision of quality healthcare. Clearly, this includes planning the shutdown of certain areas for scheduled maintenance and repairs. If and when equipment does fail, technically trained staff is on site, with the right supply chain in place to ensure the best possible response times. The length of downtime can also be kept to a minimum by having spares and equipment stored right on the hospital premises. By making sure that lights, power and oxygen systems are all running smoothly, the risks – and notably risks to life – are minimized. The patient experience, and that of visiting loved ones, is meanwhile improved by passages that are kept clear, doors that open and shut properly, floors that are clean and dry, and safe hospital equipment that works.

    Patients and their visitors aren’t the only ones to benefit from effective asset management, however. A well-maintained hospital is also a positive working environment for healthcare professionals. Such an atmosphere is conducive to improved morale and employee well-being. It’s important for staff to know that equipment is safe to use and conforms to regulatory standards; and that if an item fails, a contingency plan is in place for its replacement or repair. All of this means that hospital teams can focus on caring for and treating their patients, rather than worrying about equipment failure.

    A more efficient use of assets inevitably brings benefits to hospital managers. Business continuity and an assurance that they can deliver on hospital policy and objectives are the headline benefits. Greater operating efficiency – by reducing equipment failures and all the related costs and impacts – is another key feature. On a practical level, the cost of asset maintenance can be quantified and budgeted with confidence. By careful assessment and planning it’s also possible to predict the optimum point in time to replace an asset. An accurate prediction of that investment point can save up to 20% of the asset’s total cost of ownership over its lifetime.

    There is no doubt that healthcare provision is a complex task. For every decision, hospital managers have weigh up three key factors – cost, performance and risk. Effective asset management is about finding the right balance between them.

    About Sodexo Group
    Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. With 420,000 employees operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On- site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services.

    For over 40 years, Sodexo has helped health care centres improve their performance and provide the best possible health care experience to patients and their families. Sodexo designs, manages and delivers a unique combination of Quality of Life services to 4,300 hospitals in 37 countries. Services include but are not limited to nutrition, reception, retail management, logistics, sterilization, biomedical cleaning, biomedical engineering, energy management, facilities management, concierge services and employee benefit programs.

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