Preventive maintenance programs are designed to ensure equipment is in quality working order to maintain reliable operation, protect patients, minimize the risk of injury to patients, and avoid pricey, unscheduled repairs.
Maintenance. The word itself can often times come with a negative connotation due to the term “High Maintenance.” But when it comes to medical equipment maintenance, the key here is PREVENTative. In this issue’s Auxo Medical newsletter, we’ll peel back why the importance of preventative maintenance cannot be overemphasized.
In 2017, The Joint Commission (TJC) released its new requirements for maintenance. According to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, under the new elements of performance (EPs), all planned maintenance activities on medical equipment – regardless of risk – must be completed 100% and on time.
If your equipment is not under any type of accreditation system, then the FDA states that PM inspections on your equipment should follow the manufacturers recommendations for routine maintenance. If your company does not consistently having equipment go through PM, you are taking a chance of being out of compliance and subject to liability if it is used on a patient and issues occur.
2) Saving money
A factor which is critical to healthcare facilities is the cost of maintenance vs. the cost of downtime. Not performing preventative maintenance can lead to equipment failure — it’s that simple. The same can be said for your motor vehicle. If you do not abide by the manufacturer’s specific recommendations, you inevitably run the risk of expensive problems and repairs. The amount of money saved on the cost of a service technician repairing the issue, would easily cover the investment to procure parts needed.
Without question, medical equipment that is properly maintained is safer for patients and medical staff. For example, if a mechanical heart value sizer is compromised in the OR, and an autoclave is immediately needed, but the autoclave has an unforeseen failure occur — the patient is in jeopardy of not having the procedure performed on the table, and the medical facility is at risk for backlash. Although this may sound like an extreme circumstance, the last thing you would want to do is end up in this situation. If the autoclave had scheduled, timely, and tracked maintenance proactively, this outcome could have been avoided.
When a service technician visits your facility, are you taking advantage of utilizing the scope of services that your provider can offer during the same appointment? Having multiple items serviced at once reduces overall costs, and also lowers the cost of maintenance per item.
Another efficiency that is simple to apply but has a lasting impact is tracking maintenance, front and center. Instead of having the data stored on a computer where it may be out of sight, out of mind…or buried in an overcrowded filing cabinet, create a label and write down the procedures that are needed and the performed date directly on the equipment. Stick the label where it will be easily noticed.
Auxo Medical is committed to ongoing support after medical equipment is acquired and set-up. Our objective is to help you avoid putting patient safety and wellness in danger due to preventable equipment failure. By taking these recommendations into consideration, and keeping your medical equipment on a routine PM cycle, you’ll protect you and your company.
Click here to set-up a phone call with our team and we’ll discuss how Auxo can support your specific preventative maintenance needs.