Sponsored by Agiliti
TechNation interviewed Agiliti President Kevin Ketzel to learn more about the company and how they support Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) teams.
Q: Can you share some information about Agiliti?
A: Every day, we work side-by-side with clinicians, biomeds, supply chain experts and healthcare executives in over 7,000 healthcare facilities across the country. In every hospital, we see our customers looking for new ways to lower their cost of care while improving patient safety and outcomes.
Facilities like to hone in on medical equipment to solve these challenges. Typically, the main focus is on getting the best purchase, rental or service price for the equipment. What we don’t see is a focus on the entire end-to-end equipment management process, and the impact it can have on things like utilization, equipment availability, technician productivity and the cost burden of maintaining equipment over its lifecycle. These inefficient processes can cost hospitals millions of dollars and tens of thousands of wasted hours.
At Agiliti, our focus is on working closely with our customers to recapture wasted cost and time by rethinking equipment workflows – and establishing how much equipment they actually need to meet patient volumes. When done right, they need a lot less equipment than they own today.
The key to this is partnering with HTM teams – who are often understaffed and overburdened with non-value-added work – to reduce the cost of service through flexible clinical engineering programs. At the same time, we work with supply chain teams to improve utilization of the equipment they own and align their equipment mix with patient volumes. This ultimately frees up nurses to spend more time with patients by ensuring they can quickly access essential equipment – exactly when it’s needed.
Combined, this process cuts out waste and variation in the equipment management process, resulting in lower overall costs and more efficient operations.
Q: What is the biggest thing that makes Agiliti different than other Independent Service Organizations (ISOs)?
A: Success in this industry is all about people – talented, committed and experienced teammates who function as an extension of the staff in the hospitals we serve. Biomed talent, for example, is becoming harder for hospitals to identify, hire and retain. Yet, HTM teams are being asked to do more than ever. They’re not just repairing devices. They’re making critical technology recommendations, managing capital service plans and integrating software-enabled devices.
To help our customers address these challenges, we’ve developed a workforce of highly trained, experienced biomed professionals and made them readily accessible in our 86 local service centers across the U.S. Our local market availability ensures that our customers have quick access to the technical talent they need.
Q: What else makes Agiliti a valuable partner for HTM teams?
A: With many customers, we support multiple departments involved in the equipment management process. This visibility allows us to see entire workflows and identify where both economic and operational improvements can be made. As a result, we can offer our customers a comprehensive view of their equipment-related spend, including capital, rental and maintenance.
In addition, our commitment to quality is core to our identity as a company. Our Quality Management System drives our processes — and we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standard in our industry – ISO 13485:2016. This is a significant advantage for healthcare facilities looking to reduce risk, reduce delays and improve patient satisfaction metrics.
Lastly, we maintain OEM neutrality and have active partnerships with more than 200 manufacturers. These relationships give us exceptional purchasing power and an ability to stock parts in advance, which significantly reduces equipment downtime.
Q: What do you see on the horizon for the clinical engineering market?
A: We see a couple of trends taking shape in the market. The first focuses on HTM talent management and shortage. We’re working to grow our HTM staff and continually expand our portfolio of offerings. We believe HTM departments will be looking for innovative ways to fill talent and labor gaps.
Second is the role that HTM teams are playing in the facility – and how increasingly important it is for them to be part of the broader strategy and mission. When HTM teams are connected with the other departments – and intricately tied to patient outcomes – the equipment management process runs more efficiently, and facilities drive out wasteful spending and reduce delays. To do this effectively, many are evaluating how they manage different equipment types and rethinking their approach to managing staff and leveraging outside service partners.
Q: Can you share a recent example of where you delivered customer value?
A: Recently, we partnered with an academic medical center to provide in-house clinical engineering support. When we began the engagement, we took a hard look at the mix of resources and budget being used to service equipment. We immediately identified opportunities to measurably reduce service costs and reallocate their technicians to focus on higher-value work.
We worked closely with the customer to develop a unique service program that was the right fit for their in-house team. The path we took was a hybrid model. First, we contracted with them to provide dedicated technical support for high-volume equipment types (ex. infusion devices, ventilators, beds). We fully manage the service for these devices in their facility so their in-house team could focus on higher-value equipment. Next, we made sure they had on-demand access to local technicians of all levels to meet variable service demands – so they could be covered for nearly any type of backlog.
Within months, the customer told us that the flexible program design and our implementation had exceeded their expectations. They very quickly saw increased equipment uptime, as well as improved PM and recall compliance. Most importantly, they met their financial goals, and their technicians were able to spend more time focused on high-value work and other strategic projects.
Agiliti – formerly known as Universal Hospital Services (UHS) – began operating in 1939 as a small medical equipment rental company in Minneapolis. Today, Agiliti employs more than 3,000 medical equipment management experts and serves virtually every hospital in the U.S.
Learn more at agilitihealth.com.
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