This case study will look at the transformation of the Northern Health Building Engineering & Maintenance Service (BE&MS) to an effective ‘paperless’ maintenance organisation.
According to the Federal Government's Green Office Guide there is also a reduction in greenhouse gas emission of a staggering 2.5 tonnes
The Northern Health (TNH) is the key provider of public healthcare in Melbourne's northern region. The BE&MS department supports a quality, innovative health care service for patients and communities.
The challenges faced by TNH were typical of any engineering organisation implementing a change process. These included but are not limited to:
- Creating a system and processes that support an effective paperless maintenance organisation
- Changing a mature ‘set in their ways’ workforce to a mobile workforce utilising modern technology
- Increasing the amount of quality data entered into MEX to support legislative requirements and also meeting Health Care Accreditation Standards
TNH purchased MEX in July 2005 and by the end of the year were using the system to control Work Orders, PM’s and Requests. This continued until early 2008 when TNH upgraded to regions to allow them to support the other four facilities within a single database. This change prompted the beginning of the evolution which began with a statement of intent:
“TNH wants an effective paperless maintenance system in operation by 2010.”
After a number of presentations it was clear that MEX was the only provider who could confidently meet the needs of TNH.
From here Maintenance Experts (MEX) was also committed to achieving the outcome and began with tackling challenge number one ‘Creating a system and process that support an effective paperless maintenance organisation.’
In this case MEX helped strip out all the items that were not an Asset allowing a clean and effective Asset Register to begin working with. Kellie was responsible for the system set up and management including aligning the trades, setting up PM’s with the view to regionalising the database. As part of reporting and management a report was created by MEX that helps monitor the KPIs for TNH.
Once the system was running more effectively and the staff had got familiar with the processes the time had come to tackle challenge number two, changing a mature “set in their ways” workforce to a mobile workforce utilising modern technology.
The platform for this challenge had already been set some time ago when Al, Alex and Mick were willing stakeholders in the change process. It was now the responsibility of Kellie to nurture these guys to drive the change from the shop floor.
In early 2009 the evolution began, MEX Mobile version one was introduced to the staff a little sooner than was first planned.
This introduction was expedited due to the fact that Work Orders were getting lost and staff were not recording all the required information. Having accurate information was imperative in meeting legislative requirements and meeting Health Care Accreditation Standards. The work was being completed but we all know how auditors want data, data and more data!
TNH purchased a number of M3 PDA’s from Alex Osborne, BCP Media and were trained (in house) in the use of MEX Mobile v1 by Kellie within hours. Colin also states that, “we have had pay back on the hardware already.”
Kellie said that once the three guys started using MEX Mobile it was “remarkable how quickly and enthusiastically they picked it up.‟ It was this enthusiasm that filtered through to the other staff that slowly brought them ‘on board’.
TNH subsequently upgraded to MEX Mobile v3 upon its release in August 2009. The change to version three has “made everything simpler, the sync time has been reduced dramatically and having the ability to sign Work Orders off is just fantastic!‟
Kellie believes that an indication of how the staff feel about using a mobile solution rather than paper can be summed up with the following comment,
The tradespeople now chase us (admin) to let us know finished jobs have not been removed from the listing, what a turn around!
The use of MEX Mobile allowed an increase in data quality due to the fact the screen only shows fields that require populating. This made it easier to use and hence staff recognised the importance of filling these fields in correctly. This in turn made challenge number three easier to achieve. Increasing the amount of quality data entered into MEX to support legislative requirements and also meeting Health Care Accreditation Standards.
All legislative requirements are currently being met and Kellie has recently presented to the committee on Health Care Accreditation Standards. This presentation on how TNH has achieved an effective ‘paperless’ maintenance organisation’ was very well received and are now waiting on the written report.
It was also commented that this is the first health care maintenance facility to achieve such a result in the state of Victoria.