How much is ineffective maintenance costing hospitals?

DPA Insights
Every dollar a hospital’s maintenance organization spends on unnecessary labor, equipment or processes erodes their service, reputation and bottom line.

What is maintenance costing your hospital?Here’s one example of how things can unravel.

A major hospital’s facilities maintenance group lost control of its refrigeration shop Preventive Maintenance (PM) backlog. The PM schedule was out of balance with shop capacity, forcing the supervisor to cherry-pick the jobs he thought he could complete. No one paid attention to the metrics that showed a rising PM backlog, a low PM completion percentage and poor schedule compliance. As a result, the hospital incurred huge overtime and had to outsource support to bring the shop and the PMs under control.

Hospital managers have a lot on their plates. However, with looming imperatives to find efficiencies and improve service across the board, the maintenance process is no longer an “I know it’s important but we have other priorities” decision.

Performance metrics for hospital facilities maintenance are typically gathered via some type of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) that tracks work orders, projects and may also track labor and materials.

According to the latest International Facilities Maintenance Association benchmarking survey* the following metrics were used by the associated percentage of respondents:

  • Maintenance Staffing Per Square Foot, tracked by 55% of survey respondents
  • Corrective Backlog And Preventive Maintenance Completion, tracked by 55%
  • Percentage Of Work Orders Closed On Time, tracked by 39%
  • Cost Per Square Foot, tracked by 38%
  • Response Time For Work Requests, tracked by 31%
  • Number Of Service Complaints, tracked by 26%
  • Percentage Of Budget Spent On Breakdown (Unplanned) Maintenance, tracked by 12%

Have you collected your data? Dug into it? Acted upon it? How does your hospital measure against the following benchmarks*?

  • Is your maintenance operating cost per gross square foot (no utilities or environmental services included) close to the national mean of $5.04? If you’re too low you may be missing critical work that can cost you a lot later on. Too high and you may be throwing money away.
  • Does your total cost of facility operations (maintenance, utilities and environmental services) per gross square foot average between $9 and $13? Are you higher or lower?
  • How committed is your hospital to preserving its capital assets? Have you calculated your Facility Operating Current Replacement Value (CRV) Index? According to the National Research Council, it should be between 2 and 4%.

What’s your key performance metric? Do you have a benchmark to compare against? How has this helped you control costs and improve service? Share your experiences with us and our followers in the comments below.


*BENCHMARKING 2.0 Health Care Facility Management Report © IFMA 2013

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