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Maximize resident comfort by focusing on maintenance efficiency

Posted by TheWorxHub | Monday, May 18, 2015

Administrators of senior living facilities, independent living centers and residential nursing facilities have two significant concerns that they must balance. First and foremost, administrators and facility managers are responsible for the comfort and well-being of their residents. Additionally, these decision-makers also have to keep a close eye on maintenance and custodial operations to ensure the facility keeps running smoothly.

This may seem daunting, but with savvy maintenance management, you can actually kill two proverbial birds with a single stone. Instead of viewing resident care and maintenance efficiency as separate areas, approaching them as interconnected can help increase your operational efficiency.

The foundation of resident comfort

If you want your residents to be comfortable, happy and healthy, you must first understand the factors that contribute to the desired outcome. In independent living homes, comfort may equate to basics, such as clean facilities and reliable climate control. Assisted living centers or residential nursing homes may have additional requirements, such as common spaces built with accessibility in mind or access to on-site healthcare.

In fact, many of these concerns may overlap. Cleanliness can directly contribute to resident health, for example. Similarly, access to medical care is contingent on, among other things, proper maintenance of the necessary medical equipment and other essential infrastructure. The first step to keeping your residents comfortable is knowing what they need in their existing situation.

Begin with your maintenance

These issues of resident comfort and amenities aren't separate from your concerns as a facility manager or building administrator. By focusing on planned maintenance and proper operational monitoring, you may find that one flows from the other.

For example, issues of temperature and climate control can have a significant impact on resident comfort. By proactively performing scheduled maintenance on your building's HVAC system, you can identify issues that could lead to breakdowns or service disruptions.

How technology can help

The glue that binds maintenance efficiency with resident comfort is a computerized maintenance management system, or CMMS. These Web-based dashboards provide you with the means to not only track work orders and schedule planned maintenance operations, but to do so in real-time, thanks to field access via mobile browsers.

These tools can also help you gather essential data to gauge the efficiency of your facility. If, for example, you notice that energy consumption for your HVAC system is higher than the industry standard benchmark, it may be an indication that there's a maintenance concern to address. CMMS also integrates well with building automation. For example, you can set your facility's lighting to operate on a timer based on daily routines and usage patterns. This is one way to ensure that electricity isn't being wasted in rooms where nobody is, which helps keep operating costs down.

Just like  you look out for the long-term well-being of your residents, you should do the same for your equipment and infrastructure. The accessibility of CMMS makes it easy to create and update long-term budgets. This is ideal for capital forecasting, so you know when a critical piece of equipment needs to be replaced to avoid future maintenance concerns.

Maximize resident comfort by focusing on maintenance efficiency