Sodexo along with the Government of Bengal introduced a Clinical Technology Management (CTM) service in India with a vision to bridge the gap of inadequate technical expertise to service modern and high-end medical equipment within the healthcare industry. It was introduced in partnership with HITES (HLL Infra Tech Services Limited) and is said to enhance the functioning and monitoring of healthcare PPPs within the state. This system provides for a wide range of services from inventory management which includes management of medical equipment warranty and equipment utilisation analysis to implementation of planned maintenance programme which includes risk-base assessment and corrective and reactive maintenance.
The project offers comprehensive maintenance of all bio-medical equipment from smallest hospital unit PHC to medical colleges through preventive and corrective maintenance protocols. The aim is to achieve maximum uptime, repair existing non-functional equipment and maintain warehouse for spares. The tie-up with OEM’s for some critical equipment and periodical calibration of equipment and lastly recommend condemnation of equipment has gone beyond economic repair.
When asked about the rationale behind the partnership and the programme initiated, Simon Scrivens – Global Marketing Head for Healthcare- Sodexo said, “Hospitals want to ensure the highest possible uptime of medical equipment as the equipment is key to diagnose and treat patients. Maintenance of medical equipment requires specialised expertise and is not the core expertise of hospitals. Moreover, these are expensive items, which if not dealt with required skill may develop error and result in wrong diagnosis and treatment. Sodexo has such expertise in India and globally to perform the service as per international protocols and best practices.”
The uniqueness of the project
The CTM project (Bio-Medical Equipment Maintenance) is aligned with the government’s Biomedical Equipment Management & Maintenance Program (BMMP ), informs Sambit Sahu, Country Segment Director-Healthcare, Sodexo India. He further states that as an empanelled partner with HITES (a subsidiary of HLL), Sodexo worked on a proposal to address the needs of the Government of West Bengal and consequently entrusted to provide comprehensive maintenance services of around 50,000 equipment at 460 hospitals in the state.
This project is powered by the comprehensive Asset Maintenance management system called the CTM which provides a total control of the medical equipment maintenance programme and relieves the burden of managing multi-departmental, multi-vendor equipment services throughout the healthcare facility.
According to Scrivens, this programme delivers a seamless and well-integrated system that exceeds patient and staff expectations and makes the facility the provider of choice in your community. The system also claims to guarantee immediate cost reductions through comprehensive and all-inclusive CAMS (Capital Asset Management Services) programme.
Scrivens informs that Sodexo, through this CTM offers a Healthcare Technology Management System that maximises patient throughput, improves efficiencies and reduces costs – all delivered by a partner with expert technicians capable of servicing and maintaining all brands of clinical equipment on site. It delivers a seamless and well-integrated system to ensure equipment perform at
Sodexo deployed a few solutions as part of their service delivery
- Mobile App for asset mapping and tagging (First time done in India, a paperless initiative to create an inventory of all medical equipment)
- Creating a GS1 standard barcode
- Set up a 24/7 IVR-based call centre with toll-free number to log requests,
- Digitalisation by providing a live dashboard reporting for the Government of West
Improving cost efficiencies for the government
While this system ensures risk- base assessment and timely maintenance of medical equipment leading to increased productivity, it also promises cost efficiencies. Sahu informs that through this programme, the entire maintenance work which was mostly done by local vendors with many issues on quality of services has come under one comprehensive platform. This initiative brings more transparency and productivity, which results in cost-effectiveness as they work on the economy of scale.
Likewise, these efficiencies also enhances patient experience and service quality. Benefits to healthcare providers and patients Doctors are assured that the equipment is well maintained, duly calibrated to give an accurate diagnosis. “After this programme is initiated in Bengal, a lot of equipment which were lying dysfunctional have been repaired for immediate use. Through a proper maintenance programme, the asset life cycle has increased hence it is direct saving for the government. The live dashboard provides real-time information of all maintenance activities in the state, which otherwise was not possible. This programme has a direct impact on the well being of the patients as well,” added Sahu.
Fixing technical challenges
While ensuring that every stakeholder in this project is at a benefit, Sodexo, the government and HIT also stepped on to road block that could have hampered the success of this project. Nevertheless, team effort and their clear vision motivated them to outdo these challenges.
“The biggest challenge for the government was to create and maintain a proper inventory of clinical assets. This got addressed by tagging, which was done by Sodexo as per GS-1 standards giving a unique identity number to each equipment in the state. The maintenance of the assets was fragmented and majorly done at hospital level with some local vendors. The government was finding it tough to get the entire scope under one programme and seamless information on maintenance could be shared. There was no provision on logging a complaint centrally. The compliant turnaround time wasn’t specified due to which equipment was lying unattended for a long period of time, affecting the patient treatment and recovery,” Sahu explains on how they resolved this major issue. While all challenges and technicals issue were taken care of and the outcomes of the projects being impressive for the government, can this initiative be replicable in other states?
Replicability of the project
As per Sodexo, their system has proven technical capability and solutions which are replicable. According to them, the right solution is the backbone of this vast operation, this includes adequate deployment of trained technicians both onsite and mobile teams. IT tools for mapping and dashboards which provides real-time information to institutions.
“Our global expertise and connect with OEM’s will come handy again when we expand to other states. With our good experience in West Bengal, it’ll relatively be easier for us to implement the programme in other states,” informed Scrivens. In future, partnering with HITES, Sodexo plans to introduce similar projects in other states and will be willing to customise initiatives as per their requirements.