Maintenance: Staying Ahead of the Changes

September 22, 2020

For guidance on preventative maintenance at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.

You may recall our blog post about how important it is for facilities managers to stay ahead of OSHA at their healthcare facilities by investing time and effort into preventing slips and falls and stopping the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.

However, prevention has a price tag. Either you invest upfront via technology, training, and work time to prevent problems before they happen, or you spend dearly on the back end in a reactive mode on workers compensation claims, temp staffing, backfilling, and overtime, not to mention fixing the problem.

So, how do you begin formulating your preventative maintenance strategy? Here are some suggestions.

Focus on Critical Systems

Some experts believe in developing a preventative maintenance plan methodically and patiently. Focusing first on one critical system — HVAC, utilities, life safety, and power — is the best way to start. The real trick for you and your staff is to make that mental shift from short-term fixes to long-term improvements in small doses.

Schedule Planning Meetings

Another fundamental building block Cowley suggests in developing a preventative maintenance plan: Investing the time to schedule work planning meetings at least once a week. Again, the goal is to keep things simple. Schedule these meetings at the same time every week, and always include an agenda that keeps your staff focused on the past, present, and future of their workplace.

Cut Budgets, Increase Savings

What happens if/when budgets shrink, as they inevitably will? First, it’s important to emphasize that trimming budgets often offer savings just for the short term, and cost more in the long run. One way to beat potential budgeting issues with preventative maintenance: Increase opportunities for your staff to cross-train on different equipment.

Showcase Value with Benchmarking

Another solution worth considering, especially for healthcare facilities managers, is to demonstrate the value your department provides via benchmarking. For facilities managers, the real advantage and challenge of benchmarking are changing the perceptions of facilities management (sometimes slowly) beyond expenses and toward cumulative cash flow and return on investment, real numbers that executives really understand and care about.

For guidance on preventative maintenance at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.