Traits of a High-ROI Clinical Engineering Program

( 4/20/2017)

A high-ROI clinical engineering (CE) program is one that enhances revenue, productivity, the speed and quality of patient care. It’s also one that’s earned the respect of your hospital leadership, and a seat at their table.
 
You don’t get there just by fixing medical equipment when it breaks down, or basing CE decisions on hunches, personal preferences, or incomplete data.
 
Rather, your CE department should be increasing the utilization, uptime and lifecycle of all medical technology under your care, while shrinking their total cost of ownership—and dramatically so.
 
Below we break down essential traits and outcomes of organizations that have taken their CE program from ho-hum to high-ROI.
 

Overall Snapshot of a High-Performing Clinical Engineering Department
  • Manages medical equipment across all modalities and departments, with little to no reliance on external service contracts.
  • Takes control of all medical equipment planning, purchasing, implementation, service, and end-of-life management.
  • Is guided by data; not opinions.
Attributes Outcomes
  • Operates independently from external service contracts, and relies solely (or primarily) on its own technicians.
  • Implements a comprehensive medical equipment lifecycle plan to accurately forecast needs and extend the life of all medical technology.
  • Can provide deep data regarding inventory, downtime, regulatory compliance, historical performance, total cost of ownership, and more.
  • Uses that data to make evidence-driven decisions and eliminate waste.
  • Knows which service contracts to retain (when it makes sense to do so), what to bring in-house, what to fix, when to fix it, and when to replace equipment without relying on costly external contracts.
  • Trains its clinical engineering staff continuously. Clinical engineering staff, in turn, trains clinicians to prevent user error, damage and abuse from improper equipment use.
  • When considering or advising equipment purchases, department uses historical equipment data to avoid seemingly “good deals” that are likely to break down and generate high costs in the long run.
  • Ensures equipment performs as promised, meets guidelines, specifications, and regulatory requirements.
  • Increased equipment uptime and utilization.
  • Decreased downtime and repair costs.
  • Reduced patient diversion, increased patient throughput.
  • Improved revenue stream.
  • Extended equipment life and performance for years after the manufacturer ceases support.
  • Hospital saves money because equipment decisions and staff training are driven by data ¾ not hunches, personal perspectives or preferences.
  • Hospital enjoys zero waste in its medical technology, because it has the right equipment and skills sets at the right time, and in alignment with actual hospital needs—no more, no less.
  • Hospital avoids making decisions that make sense in the short term but hinder long-term goals, often saving thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars.
  • Additional ROI is achieved on a regular basis from the sale, trade and other end-of-life strategies when equipment is no longer useful to the organization.
  • Regulatory compliance and patient safety are enhanced with less effort.

It’s a long list, yes, but you’ll notice many of the items listed above—in either column—are interrelated and facilitate or enable one another.
 
How do you get there?
 
Before you can pinpoint next steps, you need a clear picture of where your CE program stands today. The Seven Stages Online Calculator helps you identify what you’re doing well today, what can be improved, and what steps can enhance your team’s performance and ROI.
 
The Seven Stages calculator takes less than five minutes to complete and will equip you with actionable insights to help you boost your department’s value to your organization.  [ rank me now ]