Hospital Improves Reliability of Critical, Life-Saving Equipment



Allied Reliability worked with a community hospital to establish a reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) program for improved medical equipment reliability. This case study presents data collected over a five-year period to assess the program’s value. It serves as an example of what can be accomplished when an official RCM program is put into action, reducing both time and money spent on overall maintenance.

Hospital Improves Reliability of Critical, Life-Saving Equipment


Hospitals operate increasingly complex, critical technical equipment that must be maintained on a regular (ideally, proactive) basis for the utmost accuracy and reliability to save lives and treat a wide range of patient needs—from chronic illness to emergency room crisis, to routine wellness checkup, and more. Maintenance costs and the technicians needed to perform diagnostic/repair/replacement tasks represent a big budget item necessary to keep things running smoothly as downtime is just not an option when human lives are on the line. To right size the maintenance effort and ensure that the most critical tasks were completed proactively, a community hospital partnered with Allied Reliability to implement an RCM program.

Solution and Results

Preventive Maintenance Cost Savings

One of the initial steps to establish an RCM program is to analyze the preventive maintenance (PM) program. We identified and eliminated tasks that were attempting to detect failure modes, which could be managed more efficiently via condition monitoring technologies. The charts below demonstrate the initial savings in dollars and man-hours as the program matured, and tasks were eliminated in year three and four.

Calendar Year

Cost of PM

Percentage Change

Total Hours

Year 1 – Historical




Year 2 – Historical




Year 3 – Project Executed




Year 4 – Project Executed




Year 5 – Project Executed




Total Cost/Time Reduction
Year 1 – Year 5




Cost Trend in USD (Year 1 through Year 5)

Labor Trend in Hours (Year 1 through Year 5)

The following conclusions can be drawn from the data above:

  • The cost of scheduled PM work dropped every year since the start of the program.
  • The year five cost of PM was $479,354 less than the year one cost, which was used as the baseline to compare against.
  • The average cost of PM for year one and year two was $904,052.00, which was used as the baseline PM cost.
  • Between year three and year five, the PM cost savings were $950,723.00 in total, compared to the costs that would have been incurred if the baseline costs of $904,052.00 were to have been spent per year.
  • The year six costs are not included but were on track to be comparable to year five costs.

Demand Maintenance Cost Savings

Results of the RCM program should also measure demand maintenance costs. The total cost of repairs for 158 RCM work orders over three years was $97,214.75. This included 116 work orders written from route detection and 42 follow-up work orders.

RCM counts by year*:


# of Work Orders







Total from Routes


Follow-up Work Orders


Total CBM Work Orders


*Note: Baseline repair costs prior to RCM program implementation in year three are unavailable.

Additional value-added items helped move the facility towards a best-in-class ranking for maintenance delivery. Examples of this are 35 assets that received structural upgrades due to bases that had excessive movement, caused by flexing of the supporting structure. All 35 machines have shown a significant reduction in vibration and vibration-induced noise.

  • 13 of these assets were modified in conjunction with other repairs (e.g. baring replacement, motor replacement, etc.).
  • 22 bases were upgraded in a proactive manner during equipment upgrades (e.g., six cooling tower motors and gearboxes were replaced during hospital expansion, and 16 fan motor bases were stiffened).

Going Above and Beyond

We took several steps outside of the original contract scope of work to assist with the hospital’s commitment to continual improvement. Examples are as follows:

  • Multiple trips to troubleshoot assets in the outbuildings
  • Precision maintenance training provided to hospital technicians (addressing proper alignment, lubrication, motor/frame movement, repetitive bearing/seal failures, etc.)
  • Visual inspections of newly installed, non-commissioned equipment for proper installation (including high voltage transformers, chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps)
  • Reduction of energy usage (e.g. 5% less power to operate two vacuum pumps due to precision alignment)