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The time is now for HTM departments to shed legacy CMMS for cloud-based EAM solutions

By Tom Stanford
From the May 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Everyday consumers are technology savvy and inseparable from their mobile devices. Ubiquitous mobile service and modern, user-friendly applications have ushered in a tidal wave of digital transformation. Health care systems and their health care technology management (HTM) programs are struggling to keep pace. HTM programs, and the clinical engineering teams responsible for managing them, need to modernize to meet the needs of an increasingly competitive and informed patient care marketplace. The new frontier is better, smarter, and faster HTM using modern enterprise asset management (EAM). For health care systems using legacy CMMS, the digital transformation is taking place without them.
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Modern health care is a big, growth business. As each participant in the care cycle leans in, there will be incremental benefits and improved safety for patients. Patient care is being delivered with increasingly sophisticated and network-aware medical devices. Not surprisingly, the health care technology ecosystem is growing increasingly complex, elevating risk and liability. Despite these growing complexities, health care systems cannot afford to lose focus on the primary objective of delivering safety, a positive patient experience, and quality care.

Hamstrung by legacy technology
Consolidation, mergers and acquisitions are changing the health care system landscape as provider size and complexity expand. Smaller health care systems are challenged to deliver greater differentiation, cost efficiency, modern technology, compliance and patient volume. Larger health care systems are acquiring with the promise of better economics and superior patient care delivery. As consolidation accelerates, the shortcomings and challenges of stand-alone hospital CMMS technology become readily apparent. CMMS was designed as a single hospital, single facility maintenance management system. For today’s growing multi-hospital, multi-facility health care systems, CMMS is inadequate. These technologies were never designed to meet the demands of a modern, mobile-first, network connected, and cyber-aware health care system.

Perpetuating legacy CMMS has left clinical engineering lagging in terms of modern technology. Limited mobile, lack of off-line functionality and cumbersome, inadequate reporting are among the key challenges facing health care technology ecosystems using CMMS. These limitations make it challenging to ensure data accuracy and hygiene, and efficient use of increasingly hard-to-find clinical engineering resources. Legacy CMMS also limits the ability to obtain meaningful operational data needed for optimized full-life cycle medical device management. These challenges cost health care systems time, effort and financial resources.
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