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The Perfect Facility Software for Hospital Inspections

UW Health

UW Health's Facility Portfolio

UW Health is an academic medical center located in Madison, Wisconsin. The main hospital is a Level I adult and pediatric trauma facility and serves over 600,000 patients every year, both regionally and nationally. UW Health is also home to one of the most successful burn centers and organ and tissue donation centers in the nation. The hospital houses 505 beds across 14 floors and relies on critical assets to operate successfully each day. UW Health is accredited by the Joint Commission, and through rigorous maintenance of assets has achieved the Gold Seal of Approval for hospitals, clinics and laboratories.

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Facilities Management Challenges

The facilities team at UW Health is responsible for keeping vital systems operational for doctors, nurses, staff and patients. To do this, preventative care is required for critical assets. The facility teams at UW Health rely on daily inspections to monitor these systems for malfunctions. However, the hospital experienced three specific challenges that put their preventative measures at risk:

Missing or Inaccurate Facility Data

The main hospital is a complex building comprised of 14 floors with interstitial space located below to house mechanical systems. The facility team’s ability to navigate the building is a top priority, especially when critical assets are failing and require attention. Without up-to-date building data, the facility and trades teams faced the challenge of not knowing where specific assets were located against a floor plan.

Limited Methods of Communication

The facility team at the main hospital works multiple shifts and interacts daily with specialized maintenance and trades teams. The facilities department struggled to find a holistic program that would share critical asset information, including routine inspections or performed maintenance, across building teams.

Outdated Facility Software

After the software solution that the facilities team had been using to document inspections and maintenance was retired by the vendor, the department struggled to find the right replacement solution and even switched to a paper-based system in the interim. This slowed down response times, increased the difficulty of asset inspections and meant that the hospital was stuck storing large amounts of paper documentation for compliance purposes.

UW Health Mechanical Room

IDC Cover Mockup

IDC Analyst Connection

The Hidden Costs of Healthcare Facility Compliance


The AkitaBox Process

UW Health decided to focus on one challenge at a time. They partnered with AkitaBox in 2016 with a single goal in mind: to define inspection routes by mapping fire extinguishers across the building. To do this, AkitaBox provided a four-step turnkey process:

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Collect Asset and Space Data

The facilities team at UW Health struggled to find the time to update floor plans and record critical asset data, such as an asset’s location, make, model and serial number. AkitaBox sent in a team of data coordinators to walk each floor of the facility and map fire assets against the floor plan. The AkitaBox team expedited the data collection process to minimize the interruption of the facility’s daily operations.

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Standardize Data and Import into AkitaBox

AkitaBox then took the data recorded onsite at UW Health and put it through a standardization process so that it could be easily imported into AkitaBox software. By using the data within AkitaBox, each fire safety asset recorded onsite was pinned on a digital, location-based floor plan. This allowed facility teams to establish routes for each asset that needs to be inspected.

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Train and Empower Users

After asset information was standardized and uploaded into the software, a dedicated Customer Success Manager from AkitaBox worked diligently with the facilities, maintenance and trades staff from UW Health to make sure they felt confident using the solution as part of their daily routine. The goal of training was to make sure each department could access, update, record and share asset information across teams.

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Collect Feedback

Throughout the implementation process, the AkitaBox Customer Success Manager held regular feedback sessions with stakeholders to measure the efficacy of the program. This feedback was then taken back to the product team at AkitaBox to drive performance enhancements and improvements to the software.

UW Health Maintenance Team

Growing the Fire Safety Program

The fire safety program proved successful for inspections within the hospital facility, and UW Health decided to expand the scope of the partnership to a number of surrounding clinics. Over the course of a year, UW staff and the AkitaBox team worked collectively to gather data on thousands of additional assets for the hospital’s mechanics, electricians, plumbers and carpenters to refer to when performing maintenance and inspections.

The AkitaBox onsite team took this collected information and pinned the location of each additional asset on the floor plan viewer for UW Health staff to access as part of their daily routines.

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“Our AkitaBox program is growing, and I can’t believe how far we’ve come in such a short time. We have a certain level of responsibility that we like to hold ourselves to in this building. We want people to be happy and safe. AkitaBox helps us accomplish this.”

-Todd Erdman, Maintenance Technician, Sr.


Real Results with AkitaBox

UW Health saw a number of immediate results from the partnership with AkitaBox and was able to implement the full facility software program in 90 days. They were also able to accomplish:

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    Reliable Data
    UW Health was able to use the collected facility data to stay on top of critical inspections and required compliance measures.
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    Improved Communication
    Staff could share and access building data that was previously inaccessible across departments and teams.
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    Expedited Triaging
    Because information was easily accessible, triaging maintenance requests became faster and allowed for proper delegation to the right team.
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    Reclaimed Resources
    Time spent filling out paper work orders or inspection checklists was reclaimed, allowing technicians to focus on open work orders.
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    Optimized Training
    Employees new to UW Health facilities and trades teams were able to be fully trained on the AkitaBox software within their first week.
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    Faster Troubleshooting
    Without barriers to AkitaBox customer service, UW Health was able to get same-day responses to questions or software concerns.
“We recently had a new team member start, and on his first or second day, I was able to hand AkitaBox to him to start fire extinguisher inspections. That’s how easy it is to use this software. It makes training our team easier.”

-John Mortimer, Control Room Lead Maintenance Technician


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