Dana Farber Cancer Institute

AwareManager’s facility management software has assisted one of the world’s highest rated cancer institutes standardize its data and improve efficiency.

Among the many benefits reaped by the Institute’s staff has been the ability to create accurate, customized, and useful reports for Joint Commission reporting as well as improved asset management tracking and preventive and regular maintenance scheduling.

Examining a New Client Start UpDFCI

In 2006, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute undertook a comprehensive search for a new Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). The Institute had determined that their existing system, which had been in place for eight years, was neither powerful, nor flexible enough to meet its needs. The Institute hired consultants from Bond Brothers, Inc. Facilities Assets Management Services group to manage the search process.

Dana-Farber is a principle teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and has a 61-year history of providing children and adults with compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer treatment, and developing innovative cancer preventatives, treatments and cures.

The Primary Issues

The key issues Dana-Farber had been unable to overcome with their existing system were lack of data standardization and the inability to generate accurate, useful reports. Far too many paper procedures still existed, and data was not standardized. Reports were cumbersome and the system search engine was broad and inflexible, costing employees valuable time as they waded through hundreds of pages of ancillary data to find the information they required.

Making the Selection

Dana-Farber’s Director of Maintenance and Operations, Al Croteau, explained that, “leveraging the expertise of a consultant with a 100-year history in the field of healthcare construction and maintenance was critical to help Dana-Farber make the best choice to help meet its long-range goals. Bond Brothers, Inc. performed due diligence and thoroughly examined many potential solutions for Dana-Farber. The final selection of the AwareManager solution was strongly endorsed by Children’s Hospital Boston and others.”

The Start-Up and Conversion Process
The primary personnel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute responsible for spearheading the transition process were Al Croteau, Mick LaRoche, Chief Engineer and Maintenance Manager, and Amy Carlezon, Compliance Officer.

To achieve data clean up and standardization with their conversion to the AwareManager™, Dana-Farber had secured help from an outside organization to work with their on-site engineers.

Once the transition process was underway, Dana-Farber, their AwareManager™ service team, and the organization responsible for data clean up, worked closely together to define and agree upon key datasets, thereby providing a smooth transition. Cleaning up our data and running data preparation software, is very important for us to make sure our system is running correctly and efficiently, especially in the area we work.

“Once the data was scrubbed, the entire conversion process only took about two weeks,” said LaRoche. “The transition was glitch-free. DIG had no difficulty converting any of our data, regardless of what format it was in.”

Every piece of hospital equipment located in 14 buildings throughout the Dana-Farber campus was assigned a unique identification number allowing for streamlined tracking of all maintenance activity.


Training and “Going Live”
“The AwareManager™ is intuitive and easy-to-use, so the training process was straightforward and efficient,” said Al Croteau. “They began by training our management team of five system administrators, followed by about 40 trades people and engineering staff,” he added.

The tailored web forms created specifically for Dana-Farber’s in-house Intranet, made the transition for other staff personnel very smooth.

Dana-Farber went “live” with the AwareManager Work Order and the Email/Web Modules in October of 2006.
Immediate Benefits
Employees began to realize the benefits of the new system immediately. “The query tool allows me to search the system on specific criteria so I get the precise information I am looking for when I need it,” stated Amy Carlezon, an Institute Compliance Officer. “I can access specific, finite information I need with much greater ease, particularly for Joint Commission reporting.”

Dana-Farber’s AwareManager™ team is in the process of creating a customized report that will generate all the Joint Commission information personnel previously had to search for in a variety of locations and then manually update in Microsoft Excel™. The new report will save time and will be more accurate.


Easy Future Expansion
Within three months of utilizing the AwareManager Work Order and Email Modules, Dana-Farber expanded their solution to include the Preventive Maintenance Module as well. The Institute has continued to expand by incorporating tracking of equipment warranties, vendor service contracts, construction projects, managing the utility shutdown process, and recording of utility meter readings directly into the AwareManager.

“We’re delighted at how flexible and robust the AwareManager™ is. Our partnership with AwareManager, the immediate reporting and asset management benefits to the Institute, and our ability to readily and cost-effectively expand as our needs grow and change, have left us feeling very confident that we made the best choice,” concluded Al Croteau.