Best Practices

Can I Use My ERP As A CMMS for Healthcare Maintenance?

An ERP helps run hospitals. However, does it have the capabilities to replace a CMMS? In short: no. Learn why a healthcare-specific CMMS is important.

What’s the best enterprise software to help manage healthcare maintenance? Ideally, it’s a solution specific to healthcare maintenance management, or a CMMS. However, some hospitals have adopted their ERP to help with this job. While an ERP and a CMMS have some cross-functionality, they also have some main differences.

So how do you know if you’ve outgrown your ERP and it is time for a CMMS? Take a look at each software solution as they relate to healthcare maintenance, and then check out the FAQs below to see what works best for your healthcare segment.

What is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is software used to manage daily organizational activities, such as

  • Supply chain operations
  • Risk management
  • Procurement
  • Accounting
  • Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Predicting & reporting financial results

An ERP is an integrated platform that exists either in the cloud or on-premise, and it manages every aspect of a production-based or distribution company. ERPs provide transparency to your organizational processes by tracking all production, logistic, and financial aspects.  

What is a CMMS?

CMMS stands for a computerized maintenance management system. It allows you to centralize your maintenance operations through a software that helps with

  • Healthcare-specific analytics and reporting to stay in compliance
  • Managing corrective and preventive maintenance work orders
  • Inventory and asset management for complete transparency
  • Real-time cross-department communication 
  • Business intelligence with templatized reports for every role in your department

A healthcare-specific CMMS also allows you to prepare for inspections from entities such as The Joint Commission or other local jurisdictions to keep your hospital in compliance. It makes your job easier by serving as a one-stop shop for planning and executing maintenance tasks.                                                                                                                                

Can I use an ERP for healthcare maintenance management?

Using an ERP for healthcare comes in handy when working with core business functions, such as HR, customer relationship management, and financial accounting. 

Different hospital departments may require a system to integrate core services, back-office operations, and support services. By using an ERP solution, hospitals are able to reduce operational costs and overheads. 

However, according to the American Hospital Association, over 5,000 hospitals operating in the United States face maintenance challenges that require an efficient solution while maintaining the integrity and safety of their caregiving environment. 

An ERP, unlike a CMMS, is not built for the specific needs of healthcare maintenance management. This is why we’ve lately seen many hospitals and healthcare segments make the switch to CMMS.

While both help increase operational efficiency, a healthcare CMMS solution does a lot more for maintenance management, including

  • Native analytics with insights for improved decision-making to reduce costs and increase efficiency
  • Mobile work order access to eliminate time spent returning to the shop for new assignments
  • Integrated floor plans to plan routes efficiently, complete more PMs, and increase productivity
  • Automated on-demand reports for compliance, productivity, and hospital segment management

A CMMS is a practical and easy way for hospitals and healthcare institutions to streamline operational efficiency and elevate profit margins while maintaining compliance.  

Frequently asked questions about using an ERP as a CMMS

If you have an ERP and are still wondering if it will work as your CMMS, take a look at these FAQs to understand an ERP’s limitations better.

Q: Can I complete an EOC round with my ERP? 

A: No. 

Environment of Care (EOC) rounds are fundamental procedures meant to provide a safe and effective environment for patients and staff members in sites where patients are treated.

Unfortunately, despite an ERP solution being an effective management tool in a hospital, it can't help you complete an EOC round. However, a CMMS with rounding capabilities will have the tools necessary to help you promote safety and compliance during rounds.

Q: Can I close out a work order on the go with an ERP? 

A: No.

With an ERP, your maintenance professionals will have to go back to the shop to close out work orders, complete paperwork, and receive their next assignment. You may be able to automate some work using an ERP, but it is not designed for healthcare maintenance management.

To complete work orders in the field, your team will need a CMMS designed with mobile capabilities in mind. This will allow your team to complete everything in the field and close out work orders at the site of maintenance, thus increasing the number of completed work orders in a day for a more productive schedule.

Q: Can my ERP replace my CMMS?

A: No, it can't. 

A typical ERP performs a lot of tasks for you and ultimately increases efficiency. However, this does not mean that it can function as a CMMS.  

A CMMS offers unique and specific functionality required to operate an efficient healthcare maintenance program.

By forcing your ERP to work in place of a CMMS, you are using it in a way that it isn't designed to function. While ERPs can perform tasks sufficiently for a relatively small hospital, as an enterprise health system, you shouldn't attempt to use an ERP as a CMMS.

Introducing a CMMS as a way to manage healthcare maintenance isn’t an easy task. If you want guidance, check out our guide on best practices to implement a CMMS.

FSI's CMMS, made for and by healthcare professionals

While an ERP is helpful, it should never replace a CMMS. We’ve recently helped many hospitals and healthcare systems implement our CMMS solution, and are ready to help you experience the benefits of a system designed for maintenance management.

For over 20 years, we have provided the best healthcare CMMS solutions on the market. Our comprehensive, scalable, cloud-based solutions are created for maintenance management by experts in the field. 

Our systems manage over 650+ million square feet of facility space and survey another 50 million square feet every year to give our customers accurate, standardized data. With FSI, experience the power of a comprehensive, intuitive, and scalable CMMS to empower your employees and optimize your operations.

Book a demo with our team to learn more about the benefits of using a healthcare-specific CMMS. 

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