Don’t Cut Inspection Budgets- Medical Equipment Maintenance Key Component of Care

Don’t Cut Inspection Budgets- Medical Equipment Maintenance Key Component of Care

While the title of this piece may seem obvious or silly, the fact is that we constantly encounter medical care facilities that are not performing any level of equipment maintenance. The response to our inquiry as to why equipment maintenance is not a priority, the answer often comes back, “Well, we’ve never been inspected, so we don’t think the exercise is worth the expense.”

While we fully appreciate the existence of constantly squeezed budgets, medical equipment maintenance is not one of the items that should be sacrificed. At a bare minimum, Electrical Safety Tests (EST) are required by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA99) at least every 12 months. This Federal Guideline applies to any piece of medical equipment that “could” come in contact with a patient. In addition to the NFPA, the FDA, OSHA and other agencies also have requirements regarding regular equipment maintenance.

The internet is loaded with attorneys soliciting plaintiffs with possible medical malpractice and negligence claims. This extends to equipment. State guidelines vary in specific requirements, with some states tasking their Department of Health with making sure regular, documented inspections are performed.

In Pennsylvania only a few years ago, a jury awarded a $78M judgement to the family of a child that was born with severe brain damage due to a faulty ultrasound diagnosis, which delayed the birth. The misdiagnosis was party attributed to “poorly maintained and outdated bedside ultrasound device.” The device had not been serviced in ten years.

As medical costs rise, there is increased pressure to reduce expenses. Often an area that is targeted is maintenance and updating of medical equipment. While this line item may be an attractive place to make immediate cuts, the short-term gain can have negative, long-term ramifications in the form of reduced levels of patient care, misdiagnosis, incorrect prescription recommendations or legal claims.

Edge Biomedical seeks to reduce the possibility of these negative events occurring by fulfilling all Federal and Manufacturer recommended service. All Edge maintenance plans are priced by piece of equipment, resulting in a very transparent process of inventorying all your equipment and invoicing based on the report you are given. All inventory and service history are stored in our proprietary, cloud-based software. All your data resides in an easily accessible, secure program.

Protect your patients while protecting your organization by performing and documenting all your recommended inspections. Please contact Edge Biomed if we can be of any assistance.

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