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Purchasing CMMS: HTM Professionals Recommend What You Should Be Asking

Posted by Alexandra Carney on Apr 6, 2015 2:00:00 PM

In Data Management, Capital Planning, CMMS


Evaluating Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) can be a challenging process, especially when you're looking for healthcare specialization and more than basic break-fix capabilities. In TechNation magazine's article titled "Roundtable: CMMS Software", industry leaders recommend some key questions to ask when you start evaluating CMMS software.

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Where is your department going to be in 10 years?
  2. How can CMMS impact larger hospital challenges?
  3. How comprehensive are the CMMS’ reporting and dashboards?
  4. Is the system truly an enterprise solution?

1. Where is your department going to be in 10 years?

Selecting a CMMS without an honest perspective about where your department is headed is like driving while looking in the rearview mirror. Sure, it’s a daunting task to plan 10 years down the road, however, having a sense of what your organization will need from your department in the future is critical to identifying the right CMMS solution.  Will you be taking over more high-end or complex modalities?  Are you going to be providing outsourced or shared services to affiliated or unaffiliated hospitals?  What about your geographical footprint?   Whatever your vision, large or small, you will want to select a partner to configure the right CMMS solution to meet your needs. Identifying a scalable system will allow your department to be proactive in achieving your objectives while also implementing broader technology management alongside your CMMS.

2. How can CMMS help you impact larger hospital challenges?

While every hospital faces unique challenges, some, like cutting expenses, improving staff efficiency, and improving your customer service are consistent across health systems. Of course your CMMS must be able to schedule maintenance and track key inventory information, but implementing the right CMMS software has the potential to ignite hospital-wide results that will turn C-level heads. When you are ready to roll out CMMS, make sure that the software you select will help you help you address key operational challenges for your health system with capabilities such as comprehensive parts management, smart dispatch functions to improve service levels and tools that bring you closer to your customers. Missing the mark with CMMS can leave your department in a low value break-fix mindset with Joint Commission breathing down your neck. 

3. How comprehensive are the CMMS’ Reporting and Dashboards?


To be successful, you need your CMMS to not only capture meaningful data on your equipment and services, but also to be able to neatly aggregate and present key performance information.  Whether you are prepping for a visit from the Joint Commission or presenting to executive leadership, piles of data no longer fit the bill.  As your department’s responsibilities grow, so should your CMMS’ Reporting and Dashboarding capabilities.  The better systems combine smart, structured healthcare-specific reports to meet your compliance needs with user-friendly flexibility to support capital planning, benchmarking and total lifecycle management across your expanding footprint.  And don’t forget data control! Your CMMS must deliver a strong foundation of reliable data, with built-in features to help enforce data integrity and support a department that is dedicated to establishing and following smart data control processes.   

4. Is the system truly an enterprise solution? 

With systemization initiatives accelerating across geographical and departmental lines, your CMMS has to deliver a true enterprise solution.  Not only should it be capable of supporting multiple departments including Healthcare Technology Management, facilities engineering, IT, Environmental Services, etc., it should also work seamlessly across regions allowing you to configure, control and report on anything and everything – rolled up to the enterprise level or laser-focused on an individual department, worker or asset.  In addition, the CMMS partner you select should provide deep healthcare experience and a solution with broad and flexible functionality to adapt to an array of hospital operations workflows.  Rather than settling for less than what your team needs simply because other departments only require basic functionality, ensure that your CMMS provides a scalable foundation for success. 

Inspire Change – Other Considerations to Ensure Success

Remember to remain an active participant in the implementation, development and growth of your CMMS. Asking detailed questions about the healthcare experience and the advanced functionality and capabilities of all CMMS contenders is a crucial step in determining which system will be successful in the long term for both your department and entire organization. With a powerful system in place and a strong health care technology management program, Clinical Engineering departments have the opportunity to drastically impact and improve operational inefficiencies across health systems.


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