Industry: Healthcare / Private Hospitals

Locations: Cork / Dublin

Employees: 2,000

Introduction:

The Mater Private Cork is a private hospital which provides specialist services and an A&E department.

Their mission is to:”provide the highest quality acute healthcare to the patients we are privileged to serve”.

Mater Private Hospital Cork are committed to managing and conducting their work activities in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of their patients, visitors and employees.

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Increased team's Communication

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Reduced Reporting Time

The Flex manager platform is by far the best facility management tool I have ever seen; the mobile apps and dashboards give me an unparalleled view of our operations and requirements. Flex is one of the best decisions we have made.”

Pat Sheehan - Mater Private Cork

Processes and requirements are vital in hospitals as the reaction time puts lives at risk. Mater Private Cork hospital decided to improve its performance by streamlined their processes more and building data transparency. After a few months using Flex, the Mater Private Hospital in Cork achieved flawless JCI accreditation through hard work. They have expanded their module list from facilities and asset management modules to include incident and safety functions enabling a more comprehensive solution throughout the hospital.

The have followed new trends by implementing a centralised management system, which provides a direct positive impact on their daily operations.

Safety Audits

–  HSE processes are carried out via mobile devices.

–  Any failure triggers a corrective action.

–  The helpdesk track actions until their completion.

–  Notifications at key points with  in-depth reporting.

Incident Reporting

–  The staff have access to log incidents reports.

–  User-friendly format makes navigation easier and information is captured effectively.

–  They have a review and investigation process through the system, alerting all the relevant parties.

Modules In Use

  • Incident Reporting
  • Audits
  • Asset Register
  • Corrective Actions
  • Inspections
  • Maintenance
  • Scheduled Reports
  • Alerts & Notifications
  • Employee Profile
  • Employee Documents
  • Employee HR Controls
  • Training Manager
  • E-Training Platform
  • Policies & Procedures

Summary

Since 2014 the Mater Private Cork have been using the Flex Manger solution to provide efficiencies in their work practice and to ensure that their work is to modern best practice to achieve their goals and long term strategy.

The use of the Flex system originates with the technical services department which provides internal inspection and maintenance support throughout the hospital to both Facilities assets and Medical Assets. They also oversee the maintenance from specialist external contracts.

Improvement 1: Asset Management

Using excel and paper-based systems was administration heavy, led to potential error or oversight and there was no clear real-time overview of what was scheduled, overdue and actioned. This could lead to late inspections/maintenance and machine downtime, all of which cost money and have a negative effect on all parties:

Technical Services Department: Responsible for the upkeep therefore responsible for the downtime, under pressure to resolve the issue.

Subcontractors: Could potentially charge a premium for short notice thereby creating hidden costs and affecting budgets.

Doctors: Have to reschedule appointments.

Patients: Disgruntled at having appointments changed.

The Mater: The brand is affected due to poor performance which can lead to a loss in revenue and prestige.

Solution:

Through using QR codes and the Flex Manager mobile applications the Technical services team have been able to schedule and complete maintenance in the field, upload relevant documentation and report in real-time and through dashboards on the current status of assets.

Improvement 2: Helpdesk System

Technical Services Requests. Any employee throughout the hospital has the ability to lodge a technical services request. The previous method was to ring a phone number or send an email to a specific address and the technical services team would document this as best the could in paper and carry out the maintenance. The administrative time was an issue as the requesting reporter received little oversight on the status of the maintenance, perhaps it was waiting for a part, they had no idea and this could quickly lead to frustration.

Technical Services Department: Extra administrative time spent documenting information and manning phones

Employees: Lack of oversight on the status of requests and frustration at the technical services department

Management: No oversight on recurring issues and active ongoing requests

Doctors: Potential downtime and revenue lost due to lack of prioritisation ability without the full overview easily accessible

Solution:

An email-based helpdesk was setup which automatically converted the emails into “tickets”. These tickets in Flex were then synced to the mobile applications and the Technical Services department can choose to notify the requestor of any key updates, thereby reducing frustration with some simple communication.

The request queue is easily manageable and the technical services team can view trends on assets, department and workload. This has been crucial as the hospital has developed and opened new wards, clinics and services. It allows the management to see the overall demand in the department while also being 100% that they are acting on any compliance-related issue within the hospital. As the technical services team are more engaged with the staff members through the Flex platform, the employees can see the work they are doing and are more likely to engage with the process thereby creating a culture of efficiency and open communication. the last benefit of using this process is that any urgent item can be sent to an operative in the field on the mobile device and allows the team more time out doing their work than processing the information.

Improvement 3: Training Management

The training register was held in an excel template for the entire staff. This was open to error and a lot of administrative time to keep up to date. It also involved a lot of communications between departments through email and phone to ensure all the correct information was feeding in i.e courses attended, new staff, staff who have left etc. Paper-based records of certificates had to be kept and stored onsite.

HR Department: Difficulty in maintaining training records for so many employees through excel trackers.

Subcontractors: Could potentially charge a premium for the short notice on training provision.

Employees: Not notified of upcoming training expiry.

Management: Potentially in breach of compliance of training runs out and employees still operating. Paying for extra administration and storage. Lack of figures for budgetary oversight on forthcoming training.

Solution:

This is a multi-faceted solution that has enabled the Mater to not only update their previous process but has now enabled them to be more proactive in providing resources to employees and consultants to ensure modern best practice is in use and to quickly train all relevant parties in topical issues as they arise.

To start with the training matrix was uploaded to the Flex Manager system, this populated the next due dates/times etc. of the courses and allowed for schedule reporting of upcoming, completed and required training. This enabled the alerts and notifications to flow down to the employees as well and ensure they held partial accountability for their own training management.

The next phase was to provide training in the simplest manner. Not all training requires that employees attend a class and therefore the online training platform was implemented. Employees can sign their name in and complete courses online to update their records. The courses contain slides, videos and questions with controllable pass rating to ensure that they are carried out to the appropriate standards (while not in use, in this case, their is also a camera option to ensure that the person completing the training is the person who it is being assigned to).

This has allowed the mater to increase their knowledge and provide extra resources for staff to update their skills when they have time.

The final stage is to associate costs with courses that are not online-based. This enables the management to review upcoming training costs over customisable periods based on the current staff count.

Improvement 4: Incident Reporting

The process for reporting was largely paper, email and Microsoft access based which posed a problem for notifying of events, updates, version history, security and reporting.

Employees: Labour-intensive paper-based documentation and notification, prone to error which led to stress and frustration with the process.

Manager: No clear oversight on the current status of incidents and what their role /actions are. Reports commonly missing crucial information adding to the administrative burden.

Hospital: The JCI accreditation which is required to work with insurance companies with the private hospital now requiring an automated process that tracks corrective actions to completion and maintains there records.

Solution:

By creating an electronic incident reporting process that guides the employee to fill in the right information at each stage, the management was able to set up a workflow tailored to their needs based on incident type. Now they receive all the relevant information and it is stored on the database they can quickly see what actions are outstanding, assign actions to relevant parties and build metrics / KPI’s to understand current trends throughout the hospital. Permission-based access to the information drastically increases interdepartmental communication and shows a complete method for control of the incident to close out of actions and thereby ensures that a proactive approach is taken to ensuring the safety of all the hospital.

Improvement 5: Auditing & Action tracking

Audits were carried on paper-based copies. This meant any findings / corrective actions etc. would have to be written with the audit report after the infield investigation. This is a massive waste of time since the adoption of mobile devices. Without a comprehensive task tracking system items can be overlooked and very difficult to follow up on. Likewise accumulating data for reports is cumbersome from paper or excel formats.

Auditors: Extra administrative time spent in the office accumulating data and reporting on it where required. No traceability on actions to completion and no effective way to communicate between departments.

Task Completion: No simple format for tracking a task to a close and as busy work schedules pile up items may be forgotten or ignored without proper oversight for management.

Management: Potentially in breach of compliance again which in the vent of an accident could result in fines and prosecution jeopardising both reputation and having financial repercussions.

Solution:

The use of the mobile applications here was a quick and easy win to get extra information in image and video format directly from the location. Any failure triggers prompted corrective actions and tacit knowledge was built into audits through process descriptions to ensure there is on point info to assist the auditor thereby increasing quality, efficiency and standardising the process. All actions are assigned once the audit is completed form the device (there can be review processes added). The Mater use this process for Safety, Environmental and facility audits and this versatile module can be used to encompass many different environments and departments.