Now it's time to visualize the current assets and determine where to focus efforts.
After putting together a validated equipment list with the key pieces of information mentioned in the last post, we can now review the assets. Please do not forget about the importance of understanding workflow and the potential improvements that new process or technology can bring. At any time, a workflow analysis would be beneficial to ensure the best results. This can be done independently from validating an asset list as it generally involves interviewing different stakeholders and observing patient flow.
Grouping the assets by the type of asset and visualizing the age allows us to quickly see potential replacement needs.
By this time the word has probably spread throughout the hospital that an equipment replacement plan is being constructed and every department head has their list of equipment wants. Being able to look at the equipment by age, supportability, and utilization can help to create a business case to support why and when equipment needs to be replaced.
Equipment utilization can sometimes be a challenge to layer in, if so, let software help out.
Getting utilization information for a device can be obtained in a number of ways, the easiest being vendor solutions that specifically target this challenge. Having not only historical, but near real time utilization information can ensure that you’re optimizing the use of the assets that you already own.
Without these vendor solutions, another way to look at utilization would be going to going a PACS administrator. The challenge here is figuring out the mapping between your asset list and how they are delineated in the PACS system (AE Title). There also may be multiple PACS systems (i.e. separate systems for Radiology and Cardiology) which can further complicate getting the data. The next piece of information that you need is the hours of operation for the device. Using this you can use an average scan volume to determine asset utilization. At this point it’s also possible to give a recommendations minimum number of devices would be required to operate with such volumes.
Besides fixing operational workflow inefficiencies, reducing your overall fleet is the best way to lower your fleet management costs as you’re not only eliminating replacement, but you’re eliminating the need to maintain these devices which is a significant expense. If you’re able to rightsize your fleet properly this frees up cashflow to potentially invest the latest technologies.