MAINTENANCE & OPERATIONS
SIMPLY THE BEST MSH recognizes plant maintenance team during National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week By Tamara Wright
arkham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) is a two-site hospital that offers a wide range of services to almost 400,000 residents in surrounding communities. Delivering excellent patient care is a top priority for the hospital’s 450 physicians, 17 midwives and 2,100 staff. While the clinical team delivers direct care to patients, departments behind the scenes also contribute to the quality of patient care, comfort and safety. One such department is plant maintenance. The team fully understands that properly maintaining the facility systems and equipment is essential to ensuring reliability and optimizing performance, while preventing unscheduled interruptions and downtime.
A JOB WELL DONE
As the facility more than doubled its footprint in 2013 — MSH now stands at 710,000 square feet — it was imperative that the hospital retain an experienced and welltrained team to tackle the increasingly complex tasks related to its cutting-edge building automation system, state-of-the-art reverse osmosis system, variable fan drive, and domestic hot and cold water systems. The team strives not to fall into a cycle of reactive maintenance. To avoid this, plant maintenance keeps a general record of maintenance activities that have been appropriately planned and successfully carried out. A facility of this size and complexity needs a suitable strategic framework in order to fully meet its demands. In addition to having the right people, the plant maintenance team uses a time-based management strategy to keep the building functional, equipment operational and, most importantly, patients safe. This robust and straightforward approach ensures the hospital is predictive and proactive in how it maintains its 24 CANADIAN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
physical assets. It also works hand in hand with the facility’s existing preventive maintenance programs. It’s often said preventive maintenance is only as effective as the professionals that perform it. MSH’s plant maintenance department currently consists of 18 individuals that, as part of their everyday role, demonstrate their commitment to safe operational practices. Part of this commitment is their constant attention to detail and consideration of how preventive maintenance of various systems and equipment will aid the organization in meeting larger operational goals. These maintenance professionals attribute their successful track record of keeping on top of operational issues to the team’s brief daily meetings, during which they brainstorm and discuss the challenges of managing the safety of current projects, and use of tangible performance measures. Apart from the traditional measures such as graphs, key performance indicators and spreadsheets, which are used to assess the quality and timeliness of work being done, the hospital has adopted a more personal approach.
highlighted the plant maintenance staff, gave the hospital community the chance to get to know the team better and shined a light on the role the department plays in patient care. Physicians, staff and volunteers were invited to tour the hospital’s 10 mechanical rooms and other restricted areas of the building. For many, it was their first look at what’s involved in maintaining the facility’s intricate systems. Staff was also encouraged to attend the ‘MSH mechanics’ showcase.’ Here, staff had an opportunity to speak with the mechanics about how to optimize their workspace and equipment, as well as any maintenancerelated issues they might be experiencing at home. The showcase was well-received and attended by hundreds of hospital employees. The week-long recognition events culminated in a vendor fair. Many of MSH’s major plant maintenance suppliers were invited to meet and greet the senior leadership team, plant maintenance professionals, as well as other hospital staff. The vendors (at their various booths) discussed the latest technologies in their respective fields and demonstrated how their company’s products, equipment and services contribute to keeping the hospital operational.
During 2016’s National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week, Oct. 16-22, MSH
Tamara Wright is a facilities and support services associate at Markham Stouffville Hospital.