Delivering Long-Term Benefits for Riverside Health Systems’ Clinical Engineering Needs
Riverside Health System in Newport News, Va., is one of the state’s largest healthcare providers, serving more than two million patients annually. It consists of four acute care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, and 65 satellite facilities spread across southeastern Virginia.
At a Glance
Met Key Compliance Regulations Approximately 82 days after Riverside chose Crothall’s HTS team
Recommended and Hired An Exemplary Staff
Established Medical Device Management Plan
“Crothall’s Healthcare Technology Solutions team immediately understood our needs, developed a plan to staff our facilities, and set up an inventory management program for all medical devices. Their thorough, methodical process and skills not only helped us with a DNV survey, but has given us the confidence that they will continue to provide our patients and staff with the highest level of service possible.”
— Thomas McVey, Director of Operations/ Logistics Supply Chain, Riverside Health System
- Met Key Compliance Regulations. Approximately 82 days after Riverside chose Crothall’s HTS team, the health system was ready for its DNV
survey. The survey was completed in September with no findings.
- Recommended and Hired An Exemplary Staff. Crothall’s ability to quickly recruit a highly experienced manager and hire a complete staff of biomedical equipment technicians within two months enabled us to meet the timetable for our service delivery plan.
- Established Medical Device Management Plan. Our team completed its inventory review of medical devices within two months, providing Riverside with a dashboard giving the status and location of all medical devices. It also reviewed and serviced all open work orders. The inventory management process met all requirements stated in Riverside’s Request for Proposal.
“Riverside is a success story largely because of the true partnership between Crothall and the health system’s leadership team. Our daily meetings during the transition helped forge a close working relationship and meet all of our goals within the first 90 days. The Riverside team was fully engaged during this process and always there to help us implement our plans.”
— Douglas Perez, Regional Director of Operations, Crothall Healthcare
In early 2022, Riverside Health System began to consider hiring a new service provider to elevate its clinical engineering program.
The health system needed immediate help in preparing for a DNV accreditation survey. It also needed to identify and create a service delivery plan for all of Riverside’s medical devices and tackle any potential “open” work orders. And it wanted assurances that a new provider could deliver a strong management team, hire top-notch biomedical technicians, and quickly implement a plan to meet its goals.
“By working together, Riverside not only had a successful DNV survey, but is now joining us to put a long-term plan into place. This plan combines a comprehensive equipment management program and data analytics to help them make better strategic business decisions while also containing costs and saving money. The health system is well positioned to receive these benefits for years to come.”
— James Aulisio, Regional Vice President, Crothall Healthcare
Crothall’s Healthcare Technology Solutions (HTS) division was selected as Riverside’s new clinical engineering partner in April 2022. It developed and implemented several solutions. These included:
- A 90-Day Transition Plan
Our implementation team developed a detailed project plan mapping out its process and a timetable to service the hospital’s inventory of medical devices. By meeting key goals and milestones within 90 days, the hospital would be prepared to pass its DNV survey.
Communication with a hospital’s management team during a transition period is a key to success. The implementation team held daily calls with key hospital stakeholders to provide status updates on the inventory process and review other critical issues. After completing the inventory process, we continued to meet weekly to prepare for the survey.
- Hiring an Experienced Management Team, Technical Staff
Crothall performed a comprehensive workforce analysis to design the optimum staff size based on several factors, including preventive maintenance requirements, corrective maintenance requirements, and internal/external benchmarks. We hired a 14-person team to cover all clinical engineering responsibilities at Riverside, including a seasoned clinical engineering director with more than 17 years of experience who had overseen 12 separate DNV system surveys. Crothall is funding the new director’s DNV-GL Certified Healthcare Operations Professional (CHOP B) certification to bolster support for DNV accreditation further.
The rest of the team included an assistant director, program manager, an administrative assistant, and 10 biomedical equipment technicians to maintain Riverside’s nearly 24,000 medical devices. All 14 associates were hired before the “go live” date, demonstrating our ability to recruit talented local and out-of-state job candidates in a difficult labor market. To provide a level of continuity, Crothall hired three people from the previous staff after receiving recommendations from hospital managers.
Crothall also designed an organizational structure to assure complete staffing coverage at all facilities, including a dedicated technician for Riverside’s Operating Room department and two technicians who are assigned to work full time at Riverside Shore Memorial in Onancock, Va., which is 94 miles north of Newport News.
- Complete Inventory Management Program
Crothall provided dedicated resources to facilitate a well-planned transition. The start-up team, which included eight biomedical technicians led by an onsite project manager, was immediately assigned to tag each medical device, collect all pertinent asset information, and identify the condition of each medical device, including any corrective/preventive matters still outstanding.
The medical device inventory supplied during the Request for Proposal process was used as a baseline to validate during the onsite inventory, delivering Riverside clear visibility into the full inventory on hand. The comprehensive inventory process included identifying, photographing, and standardizing to ECRI nomenclature and uploading into TeamCHAMPS, our computerized maintenance management system. It also included a schedule for preventive maintenance.
- Once completed, the inventory management allowed us to meet a variety of other needs, including:
- Developing budgets for capital purchases, maintenance, and operating costs.
- Supporting an effective clinical engineering department by allowing for workshop planning, hiring and ongoing training of technical support staff, and establishing and maintaining service contracts.
- Planning preventive maintenance, tracking work orders, and stocking requested consumables.