What does medical equipment maintenance look like?

You’ve purchased an expensive and sophisticated piece of equipment in order to provide your patients with the best possible care and to make life easier for your staff. 

So, it makes sense that in order for the equipment to operate smoothly and effectively, a good maintenance program will help the equipment hold its value for longer and continue to perform efficiently.

But what exactly does a ‘good’ maintenance program look like?

Let’s talk about the main questions we get asked when it comes to maintaining your medical equipment!

Who is required to complete equipment testing and maintenance?

Generally, any hospital that uses medical equipment must be able to demonstrate compliance with the Workplace Health & Safety Act, this applies especially to equipment with an electric component. It is recommended that regular testing and maintenance be conducted on all devices and for the facility to keep a record of this, in order to demonstrate compliance at any given time.

Generally, the personnel responsible for maintaining medical equipment are the Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMET) in accordance with the item’s manufacturer's guidelines. 

What are the different types of maintenance and testing?

There are lots of specific tests that can be conducted on your equipment to prove that it's meeting all the requirements to perform correctly. These tests can usually fall into four main categories of verification methods.

  • Inspections are mainly visual with some physical component but may also refer to the testing being done on the software/ electronic devices.
  • Demonstrations involve physically using a device with the intention to verify its performance as expected.
  • Tests are when a controlled input is used to measure the output more specifically.
  • Analysis is when testing equipment is used to evaluate a device over its entire operable range. 

Some types of tests performed on medical equipment are completed to check for higher risk hazards such as electrical, shock and fire. Maintenance on the other hand, delivers a whole plethora of activities that can be performed on your equipment to maximise the long term value and lifespan. Your equipment manufacturer should supply their own guidelines surrounding, how the equipment can be maintained however, here are some general maintenance activities that most manufacturers might include;

  • Routine Cleaning
  • Physical Adjustments
  • Repair or replacement of parts
  • Electrical/ sensor calibration
  • Proper operation of all moving parts

How often should medical equipment be maintained?

The most common answer - annually.

However, all equipment is different and it's recommended that you follow the maintenance guidelines outlined by the manufacturer. 

What are the benefits to maintaining equipment?

Maintaining your equipment is seriously important! Risks can be mitigated with your equipment being properly tested and serviced which can drastically reduce the risk of injury caused from equipment failure. Costs are also reduced as equipment maintenance can be cheaper than replacing with new capital equipment, and can also extend its lifetime.

Regular servicing of your equipment can also give you confidence that your facility has the ability to pass routine inspections and demonstrate compliance. You can use this knowledge to install peace of mind for your patients, colleagues, staff and leadership by simply following a planned service program. 

Read about our top six reasons why medical equipment maintenance matters?

What will happen if the equipment is NOT maintained?

If your medical equipment fails to be properly tested and serviced it could result in direct harm to your patients, staff or the facility. The facility may also suffer a loss of revenue from the cost of equipment downtime, but also the costs involved with replacing the equipment. Costs can also be incurred from the injury of patients or staff, placing further financial burdens on the facility. 

In the event of a serious injury or incident, the facility in question may be required to cooperate with authorities if an investigation was to occur. The legal trouble may become quite significant if investigators find that the equipment failed to comply with regulations. Insurance coverage could also be invalid if there is no evidence to support that the facility made every effort to properly maintain their equipment.

Is there a way to tell if the equipment has been recently serviced?

If your medical equipment is being tested and preventative maintenance being performed regularly, there should be a record being kept of each service and the performance indicators being checked off. There is sometimes also identification displayed on the equipment listing the date of a service and the date required for the next one.

If you are ever unsure or start to notice that the equipment is not performing like it should be, you may want to consider speaking to a superior or the maintenance/ technicians at your hospital to be sure a plan is in place, as at the end of the day to not speak up is to put yourself, your patients and everyone around you in harms way.

Cleaning your Select Patient Care products

Cleaning is always a concern and is an integral part to maintaining  your equipment, not to mention it limits the spread of infection and cross contamination. However, ongoing changes in technology and supply can affect the life of vital supporting equipment.

We continue to develop and support product ranges that use materials or coatings designed to withstand the tough and aggressive chemicals used in present cleaning programs. Our ranges of medical equipment have been carefully created with ease of cleaning, safety and longevity in mind.

The following recommendations are directly related to the products supplied by Select:

  • Nonphenolic disinfectants are recommended in a diluted solution
  • Treat specific stains promptly to ensure complete removal, wipe stain from ‘outside in’ to avoid spreading
  • With difficult mattress or liner stain, use a mild proprietary vinyl cleaner
  • Machine washing and autoclaving is not recommended
  • DO NOT tumble dry, use phenolic disinfectants, abrasive non-aqueous cleaners, steel wool or non-proprietary cleaners containing solvents.

DAMAGED CAUSED BY THESE PROCESSES ARE IDENTIFIABLE AND MAY VOID WARRANTY

Wipe off cleaning product residue with a clean, soft cloth and rinse with fresh warm water immediately after use. If a particular cleaner/ disinfectant is not listed we advise to test the particular surface disinfectant in advance or contact us in case of any doubts.

The following is a Select approved list of cleaning products:

  • Artichlor Plus - 2000ppm
  • Arjo Disinfectant - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Asepti Active Wipes - Ready to use
  • Chlor-Clean - 1000p;pm (1 tablet per 1 litre water)
  • Clinell Hand & Surface Sanitiser - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Clinell Universal Sanitising Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Clinell Detergent Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Clinell Sporidical Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Disinfecting Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Ecolab D4A - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Isopropyl Alcohol 70% - Ready to use
  • Iso Wipes (Kimberly-Clark) - Ready to use
  • Jumbo Liv-Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Lemex - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Mediwipes Disinfection - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Neutral Detergent Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Sterrimatt (Pure) Foam - Ready to use
  • Super Sani Cloth- Germicidal Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec
  • Tuffie 5 Cleaning Wipes - According to manufacturer's spec

 

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We are always here to answer any questions you may have here