Montefiore Medical Center
AwareManager’s facility management software reinforces the innovation practiced by Montefiore’s diverse facilities in every aspect of its functioning.
The comprehensive information framework – introduced in manageable phases – has helped the hospital standardize and integrate various departments into one consistent solution.
Implementation Without Interruption
How Montefiore Medical Center, a world-class healthcare facility known for its forward-thinking approach to medicine, partnered with AwareManager™ to implement an information system that matched its innovative reputation.
When the Montefiore Medical Center was founded by leaders of New York’s Jewish community in 1884, it was done so with a very specific vision and purpose: to provide much-needed, innovative care for patients battling tuberculosis and other chronic illnesses.
Today, the scope of the medical center’s capability and specialty has grown, but its enduring mission remains largely unchanged. Montefiore, which is based in the Bronx borough of New York City, is still one of the nation’s most innovative healthcare systems, pioneering medical firsts that allow it to heal, teach, discover, and advance the communities it serves.
So, when Montefiore’s leadership realized in 2008 that the management information system it had been using to organize various work orders, preventative maintenance, and other internal service requests wasn’t capable of handling its evolving technological needs, it began looking for a vendor that better aligned with its purpose.
The leadership chose AwareManager, a Boston-based software company with a proven track record of helping some of the world’s most prestigious properties, service-based business, and healthcare facilities do exactly what Montefiore hoped to accomplish.
The goal of the new partnership was relatively simple: Facilitate what Montefiore called “ifix,” a single method for handling the requests of its internal service departments. The execution and implementation of that goal, however, was complicated by the fact that Montefiore’s footprint comprised three campuses, numerous residential buildings, and other facilities that totaled three million square feet.
So, Montefiore began the relationship by asking AwareManager’s team to start by performing an in-depth requirements analysis of its engineering department, including the transition plan from their former system onto the AwareManager. But it didn’t take long for Montefiore’s management team to realize the widespread value the new solution could add to its entire facility. “Before long, they realized that we could offer a comprehensive information framework and create a phased project that would standardize and integrate the various departments onto one consistent solution,” says AwareManager executive director Jeff Thompson. “We were able to present a product that could replace multiple legacy systems and eliminate cumbersome data redundancy. For a facility as large as Montefiore, I think that was very appealing.”
To kick things off, AwareManager established a plan that covered all of Montefiore’s departments, but it broke the overall project into manageable phases and allowed the medical center’s personalized solution to grow organically.
“Each phase of the project created more buy-in from each of the departments, which minimized any chance of disruption,” Thompson says. The project’s scope included integration with Montefiore’s engineering, environmental, health and safety, real estate, laundry, construction, security, and housekeeping departments, along with a few others.
Work began in the medical center’s real estate department, where AwareManager implemented its Work, Maintenance, Web Portal, PDA Pages, and Purchasing modules. The new system allowed Montefiore’s staff to track assignments, upload vendor invoice charges into its accounting system (SAP), and create corrective work orders based on inspection exceptions.
From there, AwareManager’s staff worked with the hospital’s housing department to implement a Custom Web Form that would replace its former paper and Excel-based request system to communicate assignments and lease details for incoming medical students and residents. That approach simplified a previously complex process and allowed Montefiore’s housing staff to track each request and run them through AwareManager’s custom-built logic, which prioritized the requests based on relevant information (the student’s specialty and current housing situation, for example).
Final housing decisions are now recorded in the AwareManager program and leasing details are generated and tracked within it. The system sends automated messages during the decision-making process to each requestor, letting them know the current status of their request. Once a decision is made the AwareManager’s Create Letter feature is used to generate a lease form.
The Work, Maintenance, Web Portal, and PDA Pages modules were then rolled out to the Engineering departments of all three campuses. As part of the implementation, AwareManager worked with Montefiore to create a Scan-to-Update feature that facilitated work order completion for less computer savvy staff.
The resulting improvement in efficiency and communication has been significant. Each engineering shop is now outfitted with a work station that includes a monitor listing all open work orders and a bar code scanner that is configured to receive the work order updates automatically.
Various other departments of Montefiore gradually worked with the AwareManager to incorporate their needs within the new software.
The hospital’s Telecommunications Department, which outsources its work to a national vendor to monitor and track the hospital’s work orders, started using AwareManager Mobile. The Security Department implemented Incident Tracking and the Environmental Health and Safety Department now uses the AwareManager to schedule and track inspections and the resulting work which wasn’t too much differentiation from other solutions such as Field Service Work packages that can track and schedule deliveries of work orders, not the results of the inspections conducted. Lastly, the Construction Department started using AwareManager to record project milestones, statuses, and escalations as targets approached.
Montefiore and AwareManager’s partnership is ongoing. In the fall of 2011, development work began on a custom application that will allow the medical center to monitor the movement of laundry supplies through an Android device and barcoding system. The hospital expects to go live with it by mid-2012.
And Montefiore, which completed construction of its new conference center in 2011, is also scheduled to work with AwareManager to implement a scheduling module that will help it track conference room bookings by mid-2012.
The two organizations are working closely to launch an innovative pilot program, The Get Well Network, which allows Montefiore’s staff to submit requests regarding room conditions via television screens in patient rooms. By coordinating with the Get Well Network, all requests entered into those monitors feed directly into the AwareManager system, creating work orders for the appropriate department.
In all, the system overhaul has brought Montefiore Medical Center’s data and information management systems up to speed and in line with its pioneering reputation. All without disrupting the world-class care that the hospital’s patients have come to expect and its staff is capable of delivering.
“Each phase of the overall project created greater opportunities for meaningful analytical reporting,” Thompson says. “Ultimately, that supported informed decisions at every level of the organization.”