This is the second part of our conversation with Wes Peik, Director of Global Technical Services. We are continuing our discussion on Service in Healthcare Settings with a deeper focus on what Wes and his team hears in the market pertaining to preventative maintenance and equipment break/fix service.
Part 1 of our series highlighted why Helmer Scientific has focused on providing service and preventative maintenance as well as discussed some of the reasons facilities find outsourcing to third parties, such as Helmer, the correct decision for their facility.
Our conversation picks up in Part 2 with a look at what makes a Helmer Service Partnership a good fit.
Q: If a facility has an internal facilities management team, are Helmer Service Partnerships still a good fit?
A: That depends on how the internal team manages and prioritizes preventative maintenance and service for their cold storage assets in their workflows. Servicing cold storage equipment — refrigerators, freezers, and ultra-low temperature units — often requires specialized training and certification. Asking technicians who are untrained or inexperienced in working with refrigeration equipment can lead to damage to the equipment and, in some serious cases, injury to the technician.
One thing that surprises many people is that Helmer service partnerships are not limited just to Helmer products. We can include equipment from most brands in an agreement.
We work with many facilities that have fully staffed internal facilities teams. These organizations have chosen to outsource their refrigeration equipment service and preventative maintenance for a few reasons:
- The internal team lacks the experience and licensure to fully service and repair the refrigeration equipment we can support. Whether it’s brazing, working with refrigerants, etc., the organization has recognized they can improve efficiency and focus of their internal teams by outsourcing certain aspects of their workflows to third-party partners.
- Sometimes, these facilities need updated and ongoing documentation support. Whether it’s a certificate of calibration or temperature mapping report, internal facilities teams often don’t have the capacity to create these reports, let alone manage a library of documents for the entire fleet of equipment currently in service throughout the facility or enterprise-wide.
- Simple prioritization also plays a part in the decision-making process. Larger facilities with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pieces of equipment would rather a third-party manage the logistical challenges and accountability for ensuring equipment is properly maintained.
Q: What are some things you hope people consider when planning their equipment preventative maintenance and service SOPs?
A: I’d like to say I hope they consider letting Helmer manage the process and take it off their plates.
But, all joking aside, ultimately, it comes down to preparation.
- Review your preventative maintenance plans and equipment failure plans to ensure they meet your needs, because ultimately, all equipment has the potential to fail at some point.
- If you work with cold storage equipment, develop a strategy to relocate inventory if a refrigerator or freezer fails. If possible, utilize backup units that can be deployed in the event of a failure.
- If you have an internal facilities team, make sure they understand and are aligned on how equipment failure in your department should be prioritized. Everyone on the team should be aware of the impact to the team, and ultimately to patients, due to equipment failure.
- We recommend creating a roster of all critical equipment that includes:
- The equipment manufacturer
- Equipment model/product number
- Unit serial number
- Unit in-service date
- Last preventative maintenance date
- Next scheduled preventative maintenance date
- A list of any break/fix repairs that have been completed and when those occurred.
Q: Beyond service partnerships, what other resources should people be aware of?
A: Speaking specifically of Helmer, we have several resources that facilities can utilize to better manage their equipment.
We provide factory training programs, we have a fully sourced knowledge base available on our website, and our technical services team is available over the phone to help discuss and troubleshoot any issues a customer might have with their Helmer equipment.
Other Blogs You Might Be Interested In...
- Preventative Maintenance Helps GX Solutions Perform At Their Best
- Regular Preventative Maintenance Supports Regulatory Compliance
- Vaccine Storage Safety and the Importance of Routine Maintenance
- Not Maintaining Cold Storage Equipment Creates Substantial Risks
Thank you, Wes Peik, for sharing your thoughts and observations of the current landscape with regards to preventative maintenance and specifically to opportunities that Helmer offers.
If you have questions or would like more information about how Helmer custom service partnerships may be customized to meet your facility’s needs and benefit your team, please visit our website.