Project Description

HHS

Support services provider navigates the pandemic to safely implement eMaint CMMS software

Customer Since: 2017 | Industry: Hospital and Healthcare Services

HHS, a growing multi-industry services company based in Dripping Springs, Texas, needed to get a better grip on its maintenance footprint. But when it scheduled rollouts of eMaint Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software to 10 of its hospital healthcare facilities and biomedical equipment customers, it had no idea that some implementations would have to take place in the middle of a pandemic. Despite the tumultuous environment, HHS and eMaint experts safely installed the CMMS to maintain approximately 13,000 assets and gain overall operations visibility.

  • Accomplished 13 CMMS implementations in less than one year despite added obstacles caused by the pandemic

  • Ensured on-time preventive maintenance and asset reliability by automating PM scheduling and calendar-based maintenance reminders

  • Formatted and standardized work orders streamlining hospital maintenance management

  • Trained more than 66 users on how to use and optimize the system

BACKGROUND

HHS provides a diverse set of support services to the healthcare, resort, senior living, government, aviation, and education industries. The family-owned company is headquartered in Dripping Springs, Texas, about 40 minutes west of Austin. HHS originally began operations as Hospital Housekeeping Systems in 1975 with only a handful of hospital housekeeping accounts. Today, its operations span the globe and include 500 partner organizations. HHS provides many additional services, including maintaining biomedical equipment and hospital facilities, which is a growing area.

The rapid and steady growth prompted HHS to look for a suitable CMMS to help standardize maintenance of facility assets and advance biomedical equipment for its hospital customers. Although some of its customers had work order systems to track equipment calibrations and inventory, preventive maintenance activities still required paper forms.

The company needed a system that would:

  • Enable customers to generate work orders electronically
  • Automate preventive maintenance scheduling
  • Improve regulatory compliance tracking processes
  • Modernize audit preparations and reporting

HHS chose eMaint for its configurability and robust functionality to provide better maintenance management and oversight of hospital customer operations systemwide.

Jennifer Ackles, HHS vice president of support operations, was selected to manage the rollouts. Short-term goals included having a single login to eMaint with separate permissions for administrative and maintenance personnel. Long-term, HHS sought to use the system’s historical data to enable strategic asset repair versus replace decisions.

CHALLENGES

Many of HHS’ hospital accounts either had no asset maintenance management system and if they did, it wasn’t used regularly. Additionally, no asset data histories were being stored on any existing maintenance management platforms, and some hospital staff resisted changing to new CMMS software.

IMPLEMENTATION

Staff members at 53 hospitals were trained to use eMaint, including 22 administrative personnel and 31 technicians. Around March 2020, when the CMMS implementation schedules were created, the COVID-19 pandemic began escalating. Thankfully, users could train virtually by tapping eMaint’s vast resources and online learning portals, including eMaint University.

Many of the organization’s hospitals required two separate CMMS program implementations with two different data sets. One program was configured to oversee regular facilities maintenance, such as boilers and chillers. A second program was customized for managing biomedical equipment, including ventilators and monitors, which require a biomedical engineer technician to perform maintenance work.

Each of the two CMMS programs had unique users, forms, and workflows. For instance, medical device maintenance workflows were more complicated because of the additional measures needed to ensure precise maintenance of the biomedical equipment and different regulatory compliance requirements.

From January 2020 to early March 2020, the company rolled out eMaint at hospitals in San Antonio and Gonzales, Texas, followed by Little Rock, Ark.  All three required two separate implementations—one biomedical program and one facilities maintenance program.

When the pandemic hit in March, rollouts were postponed for a month. Once HHS resumed installations, questions about safety, hospital entry, and travel had to be answered beforehand.

  • What is the hospital’s COVID 19 case count?
  • What are the present travel restrictions?
  • Can we walk in through the front door of the hospital?

Although hospital personnel and Ackles, who has a biomedical engineering background, were accustomed to high-level safety protocols, precautions were amplified due to the pandemic.

HHS completed four more implementations through November 2020, including dual biomed and facility implementations at three hospitals in southern Alabama.

RESULTS

Ackles continues to leverage the eMaint team to assist her with ever-changing implementation challenges. HHS has reached its primary goals, including one login for eMaint CMMS software users, increasing visibility of facilities maintenance activities, and enhancing the organization’s professional appearance to customers via technology usage. “We’ve proven eMaint’s worth and use to our partners,” Ackles says.

As the pandemic continued through the end of November 2020, HHS again paused implementations to give Ackles and the HHS leadership time to firm up the eMaint foundation and improve planning for future rollouts. HHS continues to make headway on Phase One and looks forward to completing it and beginning Phase Two soon.

BENEFITS

  • Defined permission levels to enable gated personnel access and correct data entries

  • Leveraged technology to demonstrate to partners an organized, cohesive look furthering partner trust

  • Moved away from disparate CMMS platforms toward one unified system for all hospitals

“Shawn, our eMaint implementation specialist, always manages to make me feel like I am his favorite customer, and my database is the most important one. Our implementation was not easy; we were attempting to make multiple customers in multiple states happy. Shawn was so patient and positive, and I felt as if we were on the same team trying to troubleshoot these issues together.”

– Jennifer Ackles, HHS Vice President, Support Operations