May 11, 2020

Keeping Up Appearances – Preventative Home Maintenance in Aged Care

When families start the process of looking for an aged care facility for their loved one, research begins on the internet and is usually followed by a visit to a facility. 

Entrusting the care of a family member to an aged care facility can be a daunting experience. First impressions can play a pivotal role in shaping the opinions of prospective clients.

Visually, the cleanliness and appearance of the home can be enticing, but the functionality of amenities and assets around the home are an indication of the quality of processes within the facility.

How a facility is maintained gives prospective clients an insight into the communication between management and staff members, along with evidence as to whether a facility has a proactive or reactive approach to dealing with issues within the home.

Good building maintenance creates positive first impressions

MDFM Account Director and aged care property maintenance expert, Jess Johnson, spoke recently with HelloCare and outlined the important role that aged care facility maintenance plays in making a good impression.

“In terms of potential consumers, making a good first impression is obviously very important,” said Ms Johnson.

“Maintenance plays a crucial role in the aesthetics of a facility. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the finishes are around the home if the tap in the visitor toilets is leaking.”

“That’s an instant negative impression that may raise questions in the minds of families around whether the facility operates efficiently.”

Building maintenance often managed with paper-based systems

Although many aged care providers use digital software to manage things like accreditation reporting and medicine management, some facilities still rely on paper-based record keeping for managing their maintenance, which can result in a number of issues.

Generally speaking, maintenance managers in aged care settings are responsible for filing maintenance records. Accessing these important documents can be difficult when the maintenance manager is not on site.

This problem can result in significant challenges for other staff members looking to access maintenance information during an unannounced audit, and for maintenance managers who oversee multiple sites.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

MDFM streamlines

MDFM streamlines and digitises aged care building maintenance

Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) is the standard for record-keeping practice in other industries. Due to its convenience and efficiency, many aged care providers are taking the opportunity to manage the maintenance of their aged care homes in the same way.

Australian-based building and maintenance specialists, MDFM, has spent the last 10 years
streamlining and safeguarding the maintenance process within Australian aged care homes.

“From our experience, a lot of providers are operating at about 70% reactive maintenance and 30% preventative, and they know that those percentages should be the other way around,” said Ms Johnson.

“That can be a hard thing to achieve, but there are a lot of strategies that we implement to turn those percentages around.”

Don’t wait for something to fail before you fix it

“If you are operating in a way that has you waiting for something to fail in order to fix it, then there’s a snowball effect of costs that come with that, as well as the safety risks associated with an asset being offline.”

“There’s always going to be excessive costs when you call someone out to fix an asset in an emergency situation and a lot of times these failures could have been avoided if things were being serviced at regular intervals.”

Implementing a CMMS in an aged care setting means that staff no longer have to inquire with members of the maintenance team to see if their requests have been addressed, as they can view the request online and see when they can expect it to be resolved.

This digitised system also allows providers to develop a complete service history for all of their assets, allowing them to focus on preventative means of maintaining their facility and resulting in a safer and more attractive environment.

This level of insight also allows providers to identify patterns in particular assets, giving them the ability to analyse and make an informed decision on the cause of repeated failures and possibly opt for a new asset to avoid further maintenance costs in the future.

“Nobody wants to work in an environment that is run down. Having this process digitised means that everything regarding maintenance is at your fingertips,” said Ms Johnson.

“You can see exactly when everything is due and you can schedule everything in, which improves communication between management and maintenance staff, including external service providers.”

“Families want their loved ones living in environments where staff have the right tools at their disposal to give the level of care that residents deserve, and added efficiency means that staff have more time to spend with those they are caring for.”


*The following content was written on behalf of an advertiser*

Image Credit – iStock – DGLimages

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