Medical Equipment Maintenance

Medical Equipment Maintenance is unfortunately still treated stepmotherly in many parts of the world. Did you realize that, on average, 38.3%* of hospital equipment in developing countries is non-functional? And also, in many countries across the world, digitalization in the healthcare sector is still in its infancy. Studies show that professional maintenance of healthcare equipment leads to better availability of the devices and an extension of the lifecycle. Consequently, hospitals can save costs and increase revenues at the same time. So let’s take a look at how maintenance and management of medical technology, as well as other devices and facilities, can improve healthcare delivery.

Medical Equipment Maintenance

First, it is important to define which devices belong to medical technology. There are various definitions and categorizations. Wikipedia, for example, mentions biomedical engineering equipment, medical technology, or health technology, referring to the application of engineering principles and rules in the field of medicine and health sciences. Experts recommend dividing them into the following main areas:

  • Patient monitoring
  • Life support and critical care
  • OR and surgical equipment
  • Instruments
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Medical equipment
  • Diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation protection
  • PACS
  • Laboratory and pharmacy
  • Clinical beds
  • Clinical furniture
  • Medical lights
  • Pendants
  • Bedhead units
  • ENT equipment
  • Ophthalmology equipment
  • Dental equipment
  • Endoscopy equipment
  • Washing, sterilizing and disinfecting equipment
  • Morgue and autopsy equipment
  • Hospital supplies and small material

Furthermore, there is also non-medical equipment. Among others, the following categories exist:

  • Lab Furniture
  • General furniture
  • Work tops and benches
  • Accessories
  • Appliances and plumbed equipment
  • Workshop equipment
  • Cold room systems
  • Laundry equipment

In addition to medical and non-medical equipment, there are also other relevant categories of assets, such as:

  • Medical Gases Plant and Distribution System
  • Medical HAVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
  • ICT (information and communications technology) / software
non-medical equipment

The maintenance and management of medical equipment, non-medical equipment, medical gases, HVAC, or ICT are fundamental—but at the same time, highly complex.

All the mentioned groupings have in common that functionality must be ensured to guarantee patient healthcare. Depending on the type of asset, equipment managers, biomedical technicians, technicians, facility managers, and numerous other professional groups are responsible for this. Especially in collaborations involving multiple individuals from different areas, central management of activities, including documentation, is of immense importance. For this purpose, Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are used. There are already numerous solutions on the market, but only a few are specialized in the peculiarities of hospitals and their equipment and facility structure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that a software solution meets the requirements. In any case, make sure that the following areas are covered—click on each point for more information:

But, what do we understand by the maintenance of medical technology?

In practice, a distinction is made between Planned Preventive Maintenance, Corrective Maintenance, and Inspection Maintenance:

Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) in healthcare facilities refers to proactive maintenance activities for all assets. This includes, among other things, the scheduling and executing of routine tasks at set intervals. Setting up PPM plans should be done individually for each asset.

Corrective Maintenance refers to resolving equipment failure and other unexpected malfunctions. It includes the necessary measures to maintain the functions of the asset and make it fully functional and available for the healthcare facility.

While inspection maintenance shares similarities with planned preventive maintenance, it is not quite the same. Inspection maintenance is a systematic process of regular testing and evaluation of hospital assets. The aim is to identify problems with the equipment before they have a negative impact on its functionality. It includes visual inspections, functional tests and basic assessments that identify problems at an early stage.

maintenance of medical technology

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