Asset Services Inc. is based in Kansas City and has been in business for over 25 years. Asset Services performs fixed asset and equipment inventories primarily for health care, education, and information technology clients, on a national and international level. They serve a unique niche in the health care industry focusing specifically on wall-to-wall, on-site physical inventories to support and provide initial data for existing or new computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
The focus of specific services in the aforementioned industries provides trained and experienced employees the skills to handle the sensitivity of these environments.
Asset Services has achieved strong growth since their initial commitment to focus on equipment inventories in healthcare, education and IT industries. The company has been named one of the fastest growing companies in the Kansas City area three of the last four years. Asset Services Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tim Michener recently shared more information about the company via a question-and-answer session.
Q: Can you describe what Asset Services does?
A: Good question, as it is the first question we get at MD Expo and AAMI conferences. Asset Services is unique, because we strictly perform on-site physical equipment inventories. Our inventory specialists look behind every door of the hospital or clinic to locate equipment. We collect information including location, description, manufacturer, model, serial number and PM due date. This information is used to validate or populate the data in our clients’ CMMS applications.
Q: Why is a physical inventory of medical equipment important?
A: Health care organizations are required to maintain medical equipment at a high level; knowing what equipment is physically on hand is critical. Many health care organizations fail to keep an accurate inventory of their equipment and the information in the asset management system becomes out of date, with records of equipment that is no longer in service (a condition called bloat). Many organizations have experienced upwards of 35% bloat, meaning more than 35% of the equipment on their ledger no longer physically exists in the facility. To maintain an accurate asset management system, a health care organization needs a physical inventory to identify the equipment actually in service.
Q: Who typically needs your services?
A: Typically, three types of organizations require our services.
Health care organizations: Hospitals and health care organizations realize that their equipment records are out of date or inaccurate. This is typically recognized when engineering or maintenance attempts to perform preventive maintenance or inspections of equipment and the equipment is unable to be located over multiple cycles. Equipment is often discarded without proper notification. For organizations seeking to attain or maintain CMS accreditation, it is imperative to perform an equipment inventory as one of their first steps.
CMMS software firms: CMMS firms understand the CMMS application is only as good as the data it is populated with. They also understand it is critical to perform an inventory ensuring the data is accurate at “go live”.
Clinical engineering management firms: When a hospital makes the decision to outsource clinical engineering management to a CE management firm, these organizations need to have an accurate understanding of not only the amount of equipment they will be required to maintain, but also the specific make and model of each piece of equipment. This information is critical in identifying the resources needed to staff the clinical engineering department.
Q: Who performs the physical inventory, do you use biomed technicians?
A: There is a high demand for biomed technicians, and they are already overbooked handling the responsibilities that require their core skills. Asset Services inventory specialists are trained and experienced in the identification of medical equipment, and experienced in operating in sensitive environments. They are full-time, bonded, credentialled and dedicated to equipment inventories. We like to say our personnel have a good bedside manner and understand working amongst people in a high-stress environment.
Q: What are the biggest challenges for a healthcare organization needing an equipment inventory?
A: Planning, finding resources and the consistency of the information collected.
Organizations must identify the specific equipment classes to be included, who will perform the inventory, what tools will be used, the time frame to complete the inventory and how the process will be communicated to the stakeholders.
Determining which professional staff will be reassigned from their existing responsibilities to complete the inventory. Without using committed resources, the duration can run into perpetuity.
Employees who do not perform equipment inventories full-time will be inconsistent in their data collection. The more untrained resources that are assigned to the task will compound the number of inconsistencies. Ensuring the information is recorded in a consistent manner is critical for the final results.
Fortunately, for our clients, we handle all these challenges for them.
Q: Can you share a little about the company’s history?
A: After starting out as a regional fixed asset inventory firm, Asset Services made a concerted effort to focus strictly on health care, education and IT inventories. Focusing in these specific areas requires a high-caliber professional team of specialists. Our specialty in these areas allows us to provide clients with exceptional service at a cost-effective value. This specialization has resulted in Asset Services becoming the “go-to resource” for hospital equipment inventories.
For more information, visit AssetServices.com.
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