Mercy Health is the largest health system in Ohio with nearly 500 care facilities, including 23 hospitals and 26 post-acute care facilities. In 2018, Mercy Health combined with Bon Secours Health System to form Bon Secours Mercy Health, creating the fifth largest Catholic health system in the country. More than a year prior to combining with Bon Secours Health System, Mercy Health began a journey to drive out inefficiencies and waste from the support services across their organization, including clinical asset maintenance.
Ohio's Mercy Health saves nearly $13M through better healthcare technology management
Mercy Health’s billion-dollar asset base was growing rapidly with mergers and acquisitions. They lacked the standardization and operating consistency in their service program to provide the level of scalability they needed. Processes such as cleaning and distribution (C&D) and rental of mobile assets that impacted the flow of clinical assets in each facility could be optimized if integrated into the service program across the Ministry.
Mercy Health’s traditional break-fix service model wasn’t addressing waste resulting from inefficient asset utilization. They had a mobile equipment utilization rate of only about 38 percent. Because they had equipment stranded in queues and in processes that didn’t make it readily available, their clinicians were spending a tremendous amount of time looking for it. To put equipment in caregivers’ hands when they needed it, unnecessary rental and capital expenses were being incurred.
Mercy Health worked with GE Healthcare to develop their new HTM program. With a comprehensive HTM client base of over 700 customers, GE Healthcare is one of the largest providers of medical equipment maintenance services in the world. A service relationship with GE Healthcare served as the foundation to a broader, more comprehensive solution focused on the system’s entire equipment lifecycle and technology infrastructure. Core components of the new program were integrated asset management, governance and data quality.
- Increased mobile asset utilization – GE Healthcare's real-time location system (RTLS) technology, Encompass, was deployed at Mercy Health's largest acute-care facilities to provide mobile asset location and usage data in real time. With the technology and processes improvements in place, Mercy Health has almost doubled their mobile asset utilization rate.
- Standardized Cleaning & Distribution – Mercy Health gave GE Healthcare full responsibility for C&D to establish a simple, standardized process across the entire organization and ensure that mobile clinical devices are cleaned and available close to the point of care on every floor. This has freed up Mercy caregivers to spend more time with patients, rather than worrying about the location and proper sanitation of essential mobile equipment. RTLS technology is central to the streamlined process.
- Integration of rental management – Like many systems, Mercy Health rents a wide variety of equipment including ventilators, specialty beds and specialty support surfaces. Management of the rental process was rolled under GE Healthcare's program responsibilities for optimal cost efficiency.
A rigorous governance structure helps ensure that the HTM program gains can be sustained and that processes can be continuously improved. Key components include:
- Quarterly Steering Committee meeting reviews in each of Mercy Health's seven markets. Participants share critical metrics and discuss service quality.
- Rounding. While onsite for the quarterly meetings, GE Healthcare and Mercy Health program leaders visit the Biomed Shop, Cleaning and Distribution sites, Supply Chain office, Radiology and Laboratory. In addition, local GE Healthcare service delivery leaders round at least weekly in those areas.
- Executive Steering Committee meetings with Mercy Health leadership. Critical metrics for the entire Ministry and key themes gathered from the market meetings and rounding are shared with a cross-functional group of Mercy Health leaders.
During the initial phase of the new HTM program, GE Healthcare performed extensive inventorying of the imaging and biomedical device asset base. Through this work and the use of the Computerized Maintenance Management System, Mercy Health better understands the value of the assets at each facility and how to more effectively drive lifecycle management. This data standardization and improved quality has allowed the organization to make insightful, coordinated capital planning decisions.
The first year of Mercy Health’s comprehensive HTM program yielded measurable success, delivering an annual operational savings of $12.9M. Presenting clean equipment in a standardized way, nearly doubling mobile asset utilization rates, offsetting operating expense in rental, and offsetting capital expense in purchasing new equipment that isn’t needed are the biggest accomplishments of the new program. Learn more about Mercy’s program .