Improving patient outcomes through better medical equipment management

"Improving patient outcomes through better medical equipment management" floats in a white box in front of an MRI scanner, while two women, a doctor and a technician, look at an iPad.

When most of us require the services of a hospital (which hopefully isn’t very often), there’s one thing we all take for granted – that their hundreds of pieces of highly technical medical equipment, from MRIs to infusion pumps to medical lasers, will work.

Hospitals and companies in the medical equipment management business, however, can’t take that approach. Ongoing inspections and maintenance are simply part of the job, with many companies employing thousands of field engineers in dozens of countries. If they don’t have access to the right information or make mistakes in the field, it’s not just hospitals that suffer from resulting equipment downtime. It’s also patients.

This kind of maintenance isn’t cheap. For most institutions, it’s a major operating expense: according to GE Healthcare hospitals spend between $5,000 and $7,000 per bed, per year on medical device maintenance, for both performance and compliance reasons, with incrementally higher costs for large institutions. That means they’re constantly searching for ways to trim maintenance costs while ensuring equipment functionality stays at the highest level.

And that’s where smart mobile forms for enterprise can make a huge difference. Smart mobile forms for medical equipment maintenance field teams increase productivity, improve service quality, and consistency by reducing human error, and ultimately reducing equipment downtime and risk to patients.

That’s good news for hospitals, and even great news for medical device manufacturers needing to standardize and automate field activities and processes to maintain their competitive advantage. Smart mobile forms improve the quality of inspection and maintenance services, while also bettering quality of care and customer satisfaction by meeting or exceeding defined uptime in service-level agreements.

Medical device technicians typically deal with thousands of different medical device inspection checklists, with hundreds of questions per checklist related to hundreds of product families. These checklists often require complex calculations, diagram sketching, picture annotations and other technical processes and augmentations (often done manually).

With the above in mind, it’s easy to see how smart, responsive mobile forms can offer huge advantages over paper-based or manual processes.

That certainly was the case when ProntoForms recently signed a multi-year deal with a Fortune Global 500 company in the medical device manufacturing and maintenance space. ProntoForms deployed a battery of features to support the customer during its global rollout of the solution, including:

  • A simple, agile platform supporting strict compliance requirements in more than 100 countries
  • Contextual workflows and conditional logic to guide field engineers through complex processes
  • Bi-directional integrations with core back-office or cloud systems such as Box, Salesforce, ServiceMax, Service Max Asset 360 for Salesforce, SAP and others
  • Workflows to easily and automatically share field data with stakeholders such as management, partners or other suppliers
  • Support for high-quality, high-volume images from the field
  • Custom document creation and automated distribution workflows
  • Enterprise-grade, HIPAA-compliant security
  • Multi-lingual and offline support
  • A no/low-code platform with integrated automated governance, to help ensure compliance with IT and the ability to develop apps for future use cases.

For hospitals, equipment maintenance isn’t just about ensuring great service. It’s also for compliance and insurer reimbursement reasons: medical device audits can determine how much insurance providers pay hospitals for services rendered, making highly functional equipment even more important for an institution’s bottom line. A lack of functional equipment or untimely breakdown can also have legal implications for hospitals.

ProntoForms has also worked with Cantel Medical subsidiary, Mar Cor, an FDA-regulated manufacturer, installer and maintainer of medical reverse osmosis machines for hospitals, labs, and pharmaceutical companies. The Cantel Medical Corp.-owned firm has, admittedly, historically been a late adopter of technology. But after implementing ProntoForms – and integrating with cloud systems like Box, Salesforce and ServiceMax – to move away from manual, paper-based processes for its approximate 100 service field techs, 50 sales representatives, and 35 installers, the company reduced its time to build to within a day from the previous average of seven.

The implementation was so successful, MarCor’s Glenn Wanamaker says it even helped the company grow its sales. “We started to capture a lot of opportunities in the field that we were missing out on,” he says. “This created a great opportunity to increase sales, and to provide a better customer experience by helping them prevent a problem now that can be inexpensive now, but if let go it can become a costly expense.”

To learn more about how ProntoForms can help medical device companies improve patient care and discover hidden ROI, visit our website.

Jim DonnellyJim Donnelly
Jim Donnelly is a content marketing and communications consultant. He’s the former editor-in-chief of Ottawa Business Journal and, most recently, was Director of Media Insights at Agility PR Solutions (formerly MediaMiser). He’s got a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University along with 15 years of professional experience creating, editing, and managing content, marketing and communications projects.
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