Facility Maintenance

The most important attributes to look for in a healthcare CMMS, according to Matthias Ebinger

We talked to the former Senior Director of Digital Solutions at Enstoa about the most important features to look for in a healthcare CMMS.


We recently spoke with Matthias Ebinger, a well-known facilities asset management industry expert, about the most important features to look for in a CMMS for healthcare organizations.

Matthias was the Senior Director of Digital Solutions at Enstoa, where he advised healthcare organizations to optimize and digitize facilities management processes. Enstoa is a technology company that helps organizations proactively manage facilities and clinical engineering assets. FSI and Enstoa worked together to create the best Analytics module for healthcare facilities and clinical engineering maintenance, CMS Analytics.

The top 4 attributes to look for in a healthcare CMMS according to Matthias

While Matthias acknowledged that there are a whole host of items that are important to consider when finding a CMMS, he touched on his top four.

1.   An analytics module that makes data accessible

There are plenty of CMMS options on the market. However, the best way to get the most value for your money is to find a system that is built specifically for healthcare facilities. This will ensure that the software addresses unique requirements for the healthcare space out of the box.

A healthcare-focused CMMS is refined to tackle specific pain points, while a more generic product created for a different industry will require customizations to address the specific needs of healthcare. A typical example of where generic CMMS solutions fail is their widespread use of pie charts for analysis to show off data, which Matthias stresses is ultimately not helping your facility.

“Pie charts in CMMS analytics are of little use. Pie charts show relationships for people who otherwise have no idea of the data. If you analyze data regularly, pie charts lose their value quickly; what you really care about are changes in trends. Trendlines help you conduct meaningful analysis.”

Building meaningful and easy-to-use trend analyses is difficult and expensive. CMMS software specialized in the healthcare space often contains meaningful analytics that you can leverage without requiring additional customizations.

2.   A CMMS that helps you standardize your assets

Your facility and clinical engineering departments are rich with asset-related data. Unfortunately, managing this data can become overwhelming very quickly.

Matthias recommends standardizing the naming of assets across your entire health system, so that your team is clear on what assets to add to the inventory and how to tag them. Once the organization has a clean inventory, it can start to manage its assets using reports and analyses. Whether you do this yourself or your CMMS provider helps you, the benefits are enormous.

During our conversation, Matthias described a healthcare facility that was able to make impactful changes from its data. It all started with setting a naming convention. “I saw the healthcare system simplify how they ran their inspections, testing, and maintenance (ITM) program. Because their asset inventory became easy to use, they were able to right-size their ITM to regulatory requirements and to the actual risk that equipment failure posted to their operation.

Matthias highlighted that the healthcare system was able to save almost a quarter-million dollars per year from a few simple changes.

“They standardized the naming of over 105,000 assets. From there, they assessed high-volume assets, such as exit signs and egress lights. The team decided that monthly inspection for hard-wired LED lights had a very low risk of failure compared to the high failure rates of the incandescent light bulbs previously used. They used the equipment failure data in their risk assessment and changed the frequency of their inspection schedule on several thousand assets, which saved them an enormous amount of time.”

3.   Analytics that your C-suite can easily read

While Matthias stressed the importance of analytics that supports trend analysis for facilities leaders, it is also important to make sure that your C-suite can easily read and understand the value generated by your facilities team. It’s important that the CMMS can tell the story of how much work is getting done daily.

Matthias is very familiar with why it is so difficult to generate good metrics for the C-suite: Software implementers solve operational problems, and in doing so, often dig very deep into organizational detail. This leads to a gap between the actual software implementation and what leadership expects, namely access to high-level analyses.

That gap is usually large and almost impossible to bridge. However, when developing CMS Analytics, a partnership was formed between FSI, a software implementer, and Enstoa, a strategic facilities consulting firm. This partnership allowed for access to detailed, standardized data in the CMMS system, as well as the ability to aggregate this data into analyses that targeted the C-suite.

4.   CMMS that your team can easily adopt

CMMS data accuracy depends on the willingness of your technicians to use the software. If your team doesn’t feel comfortable with the technology, the data you see day-to-day will be incomplete.

Matthias recommends focusing primarily on a CMMS that’s easy to use for your technicians. To make a software run the way it is supposed to, it is important to find a CMMS package with dedicated support for setup, migration, and post-go-live support.

Well-implemented CMMS packages, according to Matthias, will show you natively what the adoption rate is and subsequently report on your team’s productivity: “Look at how many hours two people enter into a system. This is important to know because if people don't document their time, then the data is incomplete and doesn't allow you to draw conclusions. If only two or three hours out of an eight-hour day are recorded, then you really don't know what your team is doing and how your assets are performing.

“Once you know that the time of your team is documented, then you can go in and look for trends, inconsistencies, jumps, etc. The numbers will tell you where your team members are overwhelmed, where they need training, or where they are performing as  best-in-class.”

Purpose-built healthcare CMMS with FSI

A healthcare-specific CMMS will not only help you with the maintenance of your facility and Biomed equipment, but it will keep you in compliance with regulatory bodies such as The Joint Commission or CMS. Use Matthias Ebinger’s top four criteria to evaluate your existing CMMS — or the CMMS’ that are up for consideration.

FSI’s CMMS is purpose-built for and by healthcare professionals. Our cloud-based solution is tailored to your needs, and Matthias’ top four CMMS attributes are among our many features.

Check out our blog page to learn more about FSI’s offerings. Also, feel free to contact us here if there’s anything we can help you with.

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