Since July 5, 2016, organizations have been required to quantify risk based on the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. While many can now demonstrate the factors of their unique risk strategy, there is still no escaping the complexity of asset risk management. 

To “decomplicate” the mystery around managing critical/high-risk assets, facilities professionals should first consider the difference between the loss of equipment or component versus the loss of an entire system. Today, many computerized maintenance management systems utilize a strategy formula to determine an asset’s risk score. This has proven effective at articulating individual equipment risk; however, it can limit a health facilities professional’s ability to quantify the loss of an entire system. 

To bridge this gap, specific key performance variables and criteria are needed to account for risk as well as the scope of impact — limited versus widespread. This approach allows for simulation of what might happen under differing conditions by transforming inherently complex multivariable conditions into mathematical relationships that can be analyzed and evaluated. This provides the ability to accurately articulate risk numerically, and then this number is used to segregate an asset inventory into two groups: critical/high risk and noncritical/non-high risk.

Once segregated, the mystery around managing assets and systems that meet the criteria of critical/high risk is unlocked. 

To ensure regulatory/accreditation compliance, the inspection, testing and maintenance of an asset is performed in accordance with specific policy and procedures. Individuals with appropriate knowledge can determine the management of an asset by weighing the inputs, outputs, strengths and limitations of following, for example, manufacturer recommendations versus an alternative equipment maintenance program.

When it comes to managing assets that have the potential to cause serious harm or death to a patient, staff or visitor, these assets take top priority. When a health care professional is armed with a deep understanding of risk, the scope of impact and the management program, it is possible for an organization to prioritize scarce resources to meet the needs of patients while ensuring continuous compliance.