• TriMedx: Elevating and Streamlining Clinical Engineering

    Feb 10, 2016

    This TriMedx business profile discusses how to control costs and uncover savings opportunities by optimizing the clinical engineering function.

    Tell me a little bit about your organization.

    TriMedx is a leading healthcare technology management organization that elevates clinical engineering through innovative programs and solutions. We are a vendor-neutral, third-party service provider for health systems that delivers impartial analyses and recommendations for capital equipment planning, medical equipment management, and healthcare technology service solutions. Created by and for healthcare organizations in 1998, TriMedx started as a clinical engineering department at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Today, the company has more than 900 skilled biomedical, laboratory, and imaging technicians and managers and serves over 1,500 facilities globally, from large health systems to small clinics, surgery centers, and laboratories. TriMedx provides a cost-effective, low-risk model for hospitals to swiftly move toward clinical engineering excellence. We use your existing clinical engineering staff and advance their capabilities and skills by providing the training, technology, and teamwork necessary to achieve high performance.

    What are some of the biggest challenges you see affecting healthcare organizations?

    Hospital and vendor consolidation are bringing greater awareness to the potential savings opportunities that exist within nonclinical purchased services. Clinical engineering in particular is a significant cost contributor to this area. Whether in-house or outsourced, the clinical engineering function accounts for a deceptively large share of purchased services. Uncovering all costs associated with clinical engineering and consolidating this function can deliver up to 20 percent in cost savings.

    The biggest challenge lies in the fact that the clinical engineering spend has some of the toughest costs to uncover. For most health systems, the function is severely fragmented and the expenses tend to be spread across various departments in the general ledger.

    Without knowing how to navigate these challenges, hospitals run the risk of incurring ongoing, escalating expenses in hidden areas and missing out on significant and sustainable savings opportunities. Often a root cause of high clinical engineering costs is poor management of service contracts or lack of planning around demand for services.

    How does your product or service offering(s) help address these needs?

    Over the years, TriMedx has led healthcare providers to considerable savings and newfound efficiencies that support high-quality care. We do this by decreasing medical equipment service costs while increasing uptime and response time without compromising care. Our approach is an insource model that augments the availability and expertise of internal staff, which immediately reduces reliance on costly vendor service contracts. Building on the skillset of your existing team, the transition to a fully insourced program is seamless, low-risk, and allows for improved service quality and patient safety—not to mention affords considerable cost savings for a hospital systemwide.

    TriMedx Image 1In addition, our proprietary computerized maintenance management system offers service and financial reporting tools that let hospitals monitor equipment performance, track program effectiveness, and meet regulatory standards. Users receive key device information, such as age and value; maintenance service cost histories; preventive maintenance schedules; work order views; device reports; and inventories.

    TriMedx Image 2Also, when it comes to parts procurement, TriMedx is a leader. Our seasoned sourcing specialists manage the parts purchases and invoices for more than 10,400 purchase orders every month, giving us bulk purchasing power to obtain the best part for each repair based on quality, service cost, and uptime requirements.

    Our dedicated regulatory compliance team ensures that customers receive expert regulatory guidance for all devices in their inventory. The team also facilitates instant electronic communication about safety recalls and alert notices that impact a hospital’s equipment.

    What are some key considerations for healthcare leaders when choosing this type of product or service?

    First, you must partner with a provider that is able to directly align with your hospital’s long-term vision. For example, if the organization’s goal is to be the leader in cardiac, cancer, or emergent care, then the service partner must be able to align capital planning appropriately to guide the purchase, service, and maintenance programs to support the organization’s objectives.

    You should also consider access to resources. TriMedx utilizes the best technology in the clinical engineering service industry to deploy a comprehensive lifecycle management program that provides optimal savings and operational efficiencies with all medical equipment. Our state-of-the-art, computerized maintenance management system is the most innovative, comprehensive, and reliable platform in the industry. It provides our team with real-time data so we can best manage healthcare equipment maintenance and repair requests. Because we have information on all of an organization’s inventory available at the touch of a finger, TriMedx has some of the fastest call response times in the industry.

    As healthcare organizations implement use of your product or service into their day-to-day operations, what advice would you offer so they can best set themselves up for success?

    Uncovering the true spend is the first step to centralizing clinical engineering. The TriMedx process begins with our staff performing a current state assessment to understand an organization’s true medical equipment spend and identify savings opportunities. This process is important because it is so easy for clinical engineering costs to remain hidden because of miscoding and the function’s decentralization throughout many departments. A current state assessment looks at all costs both listed in clinical engineering and in each department in the general ledger. We also manually track down hard copies of every service agreement throughout the facility. Once the assessment is complete, you have an overview of the clinical engineering program’s current state as well as an idea of how to most effectively move to a centralized process that will immediately reduce costly service contracts, improve medical equipment uptime performance, and ultimately increase patient throughput—all of which lead to reduced non-clinical purchased services spend and improved savings.

    Are there any educational materials you would like to share to help healthcare providers in these efforts?

    Yes, we offer several useful tools on our website, including two white papers addressing cost containment and improved throughput: Reducing Costs and Increasing Throughput through Non-Clinical Purchased Services and Five Ways Comprehensive Lifecycle Management Can Help Reduce Total Cost of Ownership.

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    TriMedx Logo PNGContent for this Business Profile is supplied by TriMedx. This published piece is provided for advertisement purposes. HFMA does not endorse the published material or warrant or guarantee its accuracy. The statements and opinions of those profiled are those of the individual and not those of HFMA. References to commercial manufacturers, vendors, products, or services that appear do not constitute endorsement by HFMA.