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Getting Ahead of the Facility Tech Curve

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During my time as a surveyor, I noticed multiple issues facility directors were having with documentation. For example, while evaluating EC 02.03.05 EP’s, a common theme was part of the documentation was missing. Facility directors always mentioned keeping track of all the regulations and required documentation as a daunting task. I was often asked about other alternatives to the usual binder systems. I found two misconceptions to how documentation can and needs to be done, especially in this new era of technology.

Need for Paper Documentation?

The first misconception is the need for paper documentation. Binders and paper documentation have been the industry norm for many years. In the past, it was an easy way to monitor daily and regulatory required activities. Gradually, the number of binders needed for the reports have increased dramatically. For example, just in EC and LS required documentation, there are over 126 required separate reports! Having that many reports to follow, updates and staying organized is a huge undertaking for any group, especially when the amount of reporting only increases your chance for oversight. Due to this, industry trends are swiftly moving towards computer-based software that proactively maintains a database (in some cases cloud-based) of the required reports.

Paper Documentation for Surveys?

The second misconception is surveyors require facility staff to keep paper documentation for evaluating surveys. This is inaccurate. The Joint Commission has already stated their stance is for reports to be readily available. They do not indicate any preference between paper documentation and computer-based software.

Recently ASHE held a webinar on virtual surveys (ASHE Aug. 19th, 2020). During the webinar, ASHE highlighted the industry trend as utilizing computer programs. Whether you are at the end of the 2nd quarter of your fiscal year or the end of your calendar year budget, now is an excellent time to become part of what will surely become the industry standard and stay ahead of the curve.

By adopting industry-based software now, you can quickly adapt and implement your current program and become one of the industry leaders. As a former surveyor, I can tell you being proactive is only going to help you with upcoming surveys. The key though is identifying your needs and securing it on your capital budget as soon as possible. This allows you to start working with a vendor, like Soleran, to help your facility transition smoothly and quickly.

Since software provides proactive checks and balances and the leading healthcare facility management society describes it as a necessity, it would definitely be beneficial to start planning for your in-house transition.

When I was a facility director, I wish I’d had the ability to implement the computer programs available today. In fact, I now highly recommend moving to software to any facility director. Since the arrival of COVID-19, technology emphasis has gone through the roof! From a surveyor’s perspective, it will help you increase efficiency within your program. I encourage you to take a hard look at this transition and start planning as soon as possible, even before your capital request is accepted. Vendors get busy too and may be unable to provide you their full attention due to industry demands on them. This is the future of facility management. Be ahead of the facility tech wave that will become the standard.

*This infographic is representative of Soleran’s buying process for facility management software. This is a good example of the steps involved in moving you toward full implementation with a new program.

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