Why do you need medical equipment repair software for your healthcare center?
Due to financial challenges, hospitals often suffer from fluctuating productivity levels and struggle to keep up with regulatory standards. A medical equipment repair software lets healthcare professionals design streamlined management strategies to increase operational efficacy. The healthcare industry comprises of a range of various companies and non-profit organizations which provide a span of services.
There are sectors that specialize in different areas i.e. delivering medical services, manufacturing equipment and developing pharmaceuticals. These sectors are further divided into segments which cater to specific healthcare needs of the society mainly:
- Biotechnical firms
- Distribution centers
One of the largest investments of hospitals goes into medical equipment. Without sophisticated tools, medical centers will not be able to deliver the quality of care needed to treat patients and meet compliance regulations. The purpose of the medical equipment is to assist diagnosis, monitor and treat patients and medical conditions.
A) Basic equipment: This consists of tools to control and analyze certain conditions and can be used both in the hospitals and at home. It includes:
i) Medical monitors
ii) Laboratory medical equipment
iii) Therapeutic machines
B) Diagnosis equipment: Studying the symptoms of a patient to narrow down the possible list of diseases is known as ‘diagnosis’. It has to be performed by analyzing patient history and carrying out diagnostic tests. It includes:
i) Medical imaging through radiopharmaceuticals
ii) PET scanners for positron emission tomography
iii) X-ray generator
C) Treatment medical equipment: Any sort of apparatus used to operate and combat diseases is known as treatment medical equipment. It includes:
i) Infusion pumps
iii) Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK)
To deal with the rising inflow of patients every day, the healthcare center needs to adopt robust management strategies. While the majority of hospitals have introduced automated workflows, a huge number still lags behind. Automation is important because it helps raise efficiency and productivity levels. The daily work tasks of the healthcare center revolve around patient admission/discharge, staff administration and maintaining electronic health records.
In addition to this, most medical centers delegate executives for procurement of expensive equipment through thorough evaluation and selection. Once the required tools are purchased, a cloud-based program can be used to manage medical supplies and inventory. The healthcare industry also comprises of experienced biomedical engineers responsible for equipment maintenance and failure investigation.
Medical equipment maintenance and management standards
Due to the high risks involved in using malfunctioned medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, the healthcare industry is required to strictly follow regulations set by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Medical Device Amendments 1976 gave FDA the authority to oversee the management and approval of medical devices. Subject to updates, this legislation established sponsors user fees and set performance targets for reviews.
Following the outlines by FDA, each type of medical apparatus is classified into three regulatory categories. It depends on the risk and evaluation needed for safety and demonstration.
Class I devices: This mainly comprises of low-risk devices subject to ‘general controls’ like tests of sterility.
Class II devices: Moving one step ahead of class I, this division includes tools like computed tomographic scanners. These are required to carry out general plus specialized controls. Such practices mainly entail labeling requirements and pass through 501(K) review pathway which deals with premarket notifications.
Class III devices: Sophisticated and high-value equipment like deep-brain stimulators form a part of this division. Special clinical studies called Pre-Market Approval Application (PMA) have to be carried out to evaluate the safety of these devices.
After clearance, hospital management must report any breakdowns or other technical faults to the FDA and manufacturer. For easy reference and record maintenance, these reports are stored in a publicly available database. After the approval, FDA still holds the direct authority to conduct inspections. They can also ask manufacturers of especially high-risk devices, to organize post-approval surveys.
Did you know? In 2017, UK households bought approximately 4.8 billion British pounds worth of medical services, an increase on the previous year.
Responsibilities of Medical Engineers and Inventory Managers
In order to lower the risks associated with patient safety and liability through medical devices, healthcare organizations should design rigorous service and inspection programs. The majority of hospitals choose to opt for a biomedical engineering contractor’s equipment maintenance plan. These documentations are then reviewed by the designated personnel at the medical center to integrate facilities between the organization and the contractor. Core functions of the inventory managers and medical engineers entail the following:
- Checking technical specifications: Having a large hospital inventory makes it important to document technical specifications for reference. This includes equipment manufacturer, model/serial number, location and identity of the department which owns the tools.
- Recommending products for procurement: Depending on the needs of the department, the team of doctors and biomedical engineers decide what equipment needs to be bought. Oftentimes, hospitals procure apparatus from external sources through tenders.
- Configuring the device: Once the required tools have been purchased, the next step is to configure them to the existing systems. Start by establishing baselines through identifying respective medical devices and recording every time a device is placed under corrective maintenance.
- Training: Medical equipment cannot be utilized in the appropriate manner if the staff is not properly trained. Hospital staff should be aware of how to identify malfunctioned equipment. They should know how to remove it and notify the repair service or biomedical engineers on the problem.
- Communicating with the manufacturer: In times of breakdowns or maintenance events, hospitals might need to contact the supplier for additional services. On the other hand, healthcare organizations often receive equipment recalls or a hazard notice. If the course of action is unclear, use of the equipment should be stopped until further guidance from the manufacturer is provided.
- Establishing test and maintenance protocols: To maintain compliance with FDA guidelines, it is critical to specify test and sterilization procedures. Each organization should test equipment according to the 3-tier levels (semi-annual, annual and visually on annual basis).
- Scheduling equipment’s use to optimize availability: In order to run streamlined workflows, medical staff needs to reserve tools in advance. This way doctors can have the required equipment ready for use for each operation.
- Maintaining a suitable supply of consumables: Due to the increased influx of patients, medical supplies are subject to shortages. With the help of a robust management program, you can automate the procurement process to avoid stock-outs.
- Device replacement: Contingent upon your maintenance routine and warranty contract, you can get medical devices fixed through distributors or manufacturers. It is however recommended not to use partially damaged equipment
- Eventual decommissioning: To maintain accurate financial records, it is crucial to account for depreciation. Hospital equipment is prone to wear and tear with rigorous usage. Doing so allows you to schedule maintenance events in advance.
Medical Equipment Repair Best Practices
After selecting the best possible management strategies for your healthcare organization, the next stage is to measure their effectiveness. Extensive repair and maintenance of medical devices allow you to achieve the following objectives:
- Compliance with regulatory standards: When you have regularly scheduled service sessions for all your equipment, you can easily meet all regulations laid down by FDA. This helps you deliver improved quality of patient care.
- Efficient clinical decision making: The use of a seamless management program allows healthcare centers to adopt cost-effective techniques to run daily operations. With easily accessible data on medical records, clinical engineering team can boost the overall productivity.
- Enhance data security: Labeling all your equipment with unique serial numbers lets you carry out secure documentation of medical devices. With data on everything from maintenance to disposal, hospitals are in a better position to set financial goals as well.
- Avoid inventory shortages: Whether it’s a hospital bed or a certain medicine, you cannot afford to run out of stock in between daily operations. Automated management lets you prepare stock procurement lists well in advance.
- Reduced equipment breakdowns: Medical tools are likely to malfunction due to rigorous usage, every now and then. Regular maintenance practices lower chances of unexpected breakdowns in the middle of daily tasks. This leads to improved performance and icreased rate of operational success.
Healthcare Industry Challenges and Opportunities
The rise in poor life expectancy has put immense pressure on the healthcare sector to deliver improved quality of services. Strict compliance standards are often hard to meet without the assistance of a reliable management program. Making the best of available technology, medical institutions have the opportunity to revitalize operational procedures. Dealing with tight budget cuts, the healthcare sector often ends up facing a few challenges:
- Variance in healthcare organizations: Medical institutions range from multi-storied hospitals to small clinics – all responsible for providing quality healthcare. Varying size of the organizations is key to designing successful management strategies. If you know the type of medical devices you are dealing with and for what purpose, you are in a better position to track them. Lack of this knowledge can lead to haphazard planning and poor outcomes.
Did you know? In 2009, medical technology companies in the US and Europe generated total revenue of some 304 billion U.S. dollars.
- Setting appropriate acuity levels: Working with restricted resources, the healthcare organizations often find themselves short of nursing staff. This can result in medical errors as well as dissatisfied patients. To avoid such scenarios, staff and workflow management is absolutely necessary. Cloud-based systems allow nursing staff to set the required acuity levels for streamlined performance.
- Movement across locations: It is quite common for the healthcare sector to have hospitals throughout the city. This basically entails the transfer of equipment across locations as per the requirements of doctors. To oversee such activities, hospitals should have access to accurate information at all times. Timely updated data is extremely critical to enable seamless medical services.
- Equipment replacement: Based on the number of devices at the hospital department, replacement schedules need to be devised as per requirement. Machines like MRI and CAT scanners are high-value equipment which needs substantial budget allocations. Due to this reason, this has to be planned well in advance. In cooperation with the clinical engineering team, healthcare organizations can evaluate and inspect devices as needed.
- Implementing preventive maintenance: For a healthcare leader, providing the best possible medical care on time is important. The productivity of medical tools tends to be limited without a robust maintenance program. An efficient technician helps reduce downtime costs and expenses. Taking into consideration a manufacturer’s recommendations, preventive maintenance can be scheduled by hours of usage (e.g. volume ventilators).
In order to overcome these hurdles, the healthcare industry needs to refine its operational management techniques to raise overall efficiency. Proper maintenance leads to equipment reliability which is crucial for optimal utilization of medical devices.
What is medical equipment repair software?
With the ability to automate daily operations, medical equipment repair software allows healthcare organizations to upgrade performance levels over a short period of time. Based on the cloud, this software is key to secure and reliable data, which can be accessed by medical personnel anywhere anytime. Equipped with a variety of features, the medical equipment repair software lets healthcare professionals track, record and assess the progress of equipment. The software is easily scalable which helps to work with both small and medium-sized medical institutions.
Here are five ways the medical equipment repair software can help out healthcare industry achieve its goals and objectives:
– Improve efficiency with asset tag tracking: Healthcare organizations are required under law to correctly label their devices. This regulation applies to drugs as well as other equipment like radio emitting electronic products. With the use of a medical equipment repair software, inventory managers can easily generate barcode tags for all tools. Information such as model, make and serial number can be documented for quick reference. Once all apparatus is labeled, it can be entered into an online database. Such tags can then be used to enter equipment evaluation details which help establish credibility for compliance.
The likelihood of tool misplacement goes down as barcodes allow you to track ownership details in case of theft. Boost up efficiency in hospital management by implementing barcode tags.
– Keep maintenance logs to track custody trails: According the WHO maintenance standards for healthcare organizations, it is suggested to keep track of past service events like Inspection and Preventive maintenance (IPM), corrective maintenance (CM) and recalls. Doing this makes it easier to retrieve information when a piece of equipment is seriously damaged and point out who is responsible.
Hospitals operate on restricted budgets and cannot afford to spend more than a certain amount on maintenance. In order to minimize costs, it is critical to account for irregular service events and repairs of medical tools.
– Prolong equipment life with custom repairs: Computerized hospital management through a medical equipment repair software allows you to customize records. Such practices help service providers identify what repairs have already been performed and choose the next best service strategy.
Other practices include healthcare organizations opting for color inspection which indicates when the next inspection is due. Specialized maintenance has a higher chance of positive outcomes and prolongs the useful life of equipment.
– Optimize performance through scheduled inspection: Well-planned repair events, give the clinical team a chance to inspect and analyze the breakdown before actually performing maintenance. In case of warranties, the team of biomedical engineers need to make an appointment with the distributor/manufacturer.
Once the maintenance schedule has been finalized through a medical equipment repair software, service providers and medical technicians can be notified through alerts and emails. Timely inspection lets you optimize equipment performance.
– Partner with specialists for streamlined inventory management: Regular maintenance events call for a robust procurement routine. In case of damaged or disposable equipment, the clinical engineering team writes them off. To ensure a seamless supply for consumables and tools, a medical equipment repair software can be used to automate purchase orders. This way every time, an equipment goes for repair, hospitals can arrange for backup in time.
Regular and cost-effective maintenance practices maximize the value of healthcare technology. Improved performance leads hospitals to deliver a better quality of care to patients while keeping up with the regulatory standards. EZOfficeInventory is a medical equipment repair software which comes with multiple features to help hospitals carry out streamlined operations. With the ability to automate inspection events and store everything in a secure database, EZOfficeInventory’s medical equipment repaid software lets medical institutions optimize equipment utilization as well.
The software lets you tag all medical devices for convenient checkout procedures which aid in maintenance and procurement events. Doing this makes it easier for clinical engineering teams to analyze and evaluate equipment. It also helps them perform adequate repair sessions. Choose EZOfficeInventory and boost operational efficiency with an automated medical equipment repair software.
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