Why Project Visibility Is So Critical to Successful Medical Equipment Planning
As an equipment planner, having a group of key stakeholders from your organization that you can easily consult with is critical to your success. This should be a cross-disciplinary team that can provide additional insights, and will be able to offer you a variety of important perspectives to consider when selecting equipment for a renovation, expansion or new-build project.
But, who should be on this team? And what is the best way to work with them to ensure success of the project? Let’s talk about assembling this team of stakeholders, and how to make sure they can easily weigh in on, review, and approve your equipment selections.
Identifying Your Stakeholders
When deciding who your stakeholders should be, it’s important to think beyond the day-to-day users of your equipment. To assemble a broader team, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is going to touch the equipment?
- Who is going to maintain the equipment long-term and keep it in a serviceable condition?
- What, if any, standards are in place? Equipment? Patient safety? Compliance?
Your team should be an assembly of people who interface with the equipment in very different ways – and offer a vast array of perspectives. Some groups are obvious partners, like clinicians and supply chain. But, there are others that you may not have thought of that could bring significant insights and value to your equipment selection.
A Variety of Viewpoints
Let’s look at how these five groups would bring value – and very different perspectives – to your equipment specifications.
- Biomedical Engineers. This group has a key interest in your equipment list for a variety of reasons. A biomedical engineer services every piece of equipment that comes into contact with patients, so they need to ensure they have the necessary training or maintenance agreements in place to ensure the equipment is serviceable. For these reasons, biomedical engineers have a key interest in leveraging equipment standards.
- Information technology (IT) team. Technical requirements are a critical component to equipment selection. Is there enough wifi bandwidth to support the equipment? Does the equipment house private patient data? Does it need to connect to electronic medical records? What interface does the equipment support, and is the staff trained on that interface? Wireless capability is also a major consideration. Your IT team will champion these and many other technical requirements.
- Infection control. This is an often overlooked, but very important, team to consult with. Is the correct personal protection equipment in the room? Is there the correct dispenser to support the gel in/gel out practice? It’s up to the infection control officer to ensure all necessary products are in each room to ensure patient and staff safety, and compliance with specific infection control regulations. Coordinating these efforts with infection control teams in advance ensures that all the proper infection control policies can be adhered to without any last-minute project add-ons to accommodate these needs.
- Building engineering. The building team will be responsible for servicing all equipment that is affixed to the building, so they should be consulted early and often. This engagement may not be directly related to furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) planning, however, engagement with architects, contractors, and subcontractors can help drive positive outcomes once operationalized.
- Security. Another often-overlooked group, the security team can make recommendations to address a variety of security issues. They may help select equipment to protect against loss of assets as well as monitoring for patient safety. An example: A wheelchair that is used to bring a patient to their car could be folded up and placed in the trunk. The security team may advise that you specify a chair that does not fold up. The security team can also identify needs associated with patient security. For instance: Do you have the right alarms in place in the labor/delivery unit to track and secure the new babies? Do you have the right security system in place to ensure ingress and egress access is addressed appropriately ensuring both patient and staff safety?
Visibility Is Key
Comprehensive project visibility directly correlates with planning success. After you’ve identified the right cross-disciplinary team, the next critical component is to ensure that this team can easily – and frequently – access your equipment list. When, where, and how this happens varies by equipment planner. You may choose to create one mass export of the equipment list to route to all stakeholders, or you can hold a global meeting to review and approve the list.
Attainia Makes it Easy
Attainia’s collaborative planning platform is designed to provide comprehensive visibility of equipment selections across the organization. Attainia allows you to grant access to your stakeholders to review your project list at their own leisure, and then easily provide their comments, feedback and approval – all directly within the platform. This greatly streamlines the review process, reduces the number of meetings, and ensures your equipment list is highly visible to all stakeholders at all times.
Attainia has been supporting medical equipment planners for almost 20 years. Let us know if you’d like to assess if Attainia is right for your organization.