In this article, you will learn methods to carry out maintenance of equipment in the hospitals.
Have you ever had a medical test done twice with differing results? A malfunctioning medical equipment could be the culprit.
This is one experience patients hate to have when they visit a healthcare centre.
It discredits the facility and brings negative reviews from the public. Proper maintenance of medical equipment can avert such a mess.
The importance of quality health care is inarguably vital for a healthy population.
Access to health care facilities remains a top priority for a healthy population because the health care sector has a direct impact on it.
Also, patients feel more confident in healthcare centres with functional medical equipment because life is too precious to be hung in a dysfunctional facility.
It causes the need for adequate maintenance of medical equipment in hospitals.
What is Medical Equipment Maintenance?
Medical equipment maintenance are procedures or actions set in place to keep medical devices in reliable working condition.
A maintenance strategy usually comprises inspection procedures to ensure that the equipment is in good shape to give accurate results and is safe for the operator and patient.
Medical equipment maintenance in hospitals could be preventive or corrective.
- Preventive maintenance
Preventive Maintenance (PM) of medical equipment is a proactive approach towards maintenance to avert disruption of medical services.
A periodical inspection and PM of medical equipment helps to detect problems early and address them before the equipment fails.
Examples of preventive measures include lubrication of rotating parts, cleaning, checking filters and vents, sterilization, etc.
- Corrective maintenance
Corrective Maintenance (CM) of medical equipment is a reactive approach towards maintenance.
It consists of the steps taken to restore a failed equipment to its operational status.
In this case, the equipment fails before measures are put in place to get rid of the failed parts and reinstall a replacement.
CM identifies where the fault lies in the equipment, isolates it and restores the equipment to its proper working condition.
5 Medical Equipment Maintenance and Guidelines
1. Periodic Staff Training
Training is extremely important for medical staff; not only for the maintenance of the equipment but for the safety of the patients on whom those devices are used.
New technology arises almost every day, hence it becomes imperative for the hospital management to regularly equip its staff with adequate knowledge on the use of medical equipment.
Here is why we at MedPau International provide first in class services in maintaining your hospital equipment.
Imagine a staff leaving a device used on one patient unsterilized and using it on another patient.
The result may be calamitous. Some devices to be sterilized are heat sensitive.
With proper training, the staff would know the sterilization method to be used on various equipment to prevent damage.
In another example, consider a staff using a stretcher to transport a patient in the hospital without a proper knowledge of how to lock the legs of the stretcher, it could lead to a sudden collapse that could further injure the patient and possibly damage the stretcher.
2. Use The Right Equipment For The Job
The hospital management should do regular audits to know what equipment is lacking.
It is alarming when I see practitioners using an equipment not solely for the functions but because it can still work.
No! Every equipment has its purpose and that should be respected.
Availability of the right equipment for treatment and proper training on how and when to use it would prevent the staff from using the wrong equipment and thereby damaging it.
3. Routine Constant Checks
Machines need regular servicing. Medical devices are not exempted.
A routine check is a preventive maintenance measure because it fixes potential errors before they become a problem.
A patient monitoring device, for instance, needs the filter checked and cleaned weekly to make sure it is free of debris.
Schedule functionality tests and cleaning routines. This will help to identify any malfunctioning device before it becomes faulty.
Have expert technicians or medical engineers check your equipment at regular intervals to ensure the good health of your devices and prolong their lifespan.
4. Sterilize And Disinfect Equipment After Use
Besides the obvious decrease in pathogenic load on sterilized medical devices, proper cleaning prevents corrosion of equipment with intricate functional pieces.
The corrosion of medical equipment necessitates the need for a replacement which costs the hospital more.
A clean and organised environment will keep medical equipment safe from fluids and reagents that could cause damage on contact.
A lot of large equipment generates heat while in use. And overheating can damage these large pieces of equipment.
This is why it is important to have air-conditioners fitted in health facilities.
5. Proper Laboratory Machine Fix
Proper electrical grounding and bonding are essential safety practices to prevent fire outbreaks or static discharge.
Lubricants reduce friction between moving parts of equipment. When moving parts glide smoothly across each other, there will be no wear and tear and this means a prolonged lifespan of the equipment.
Lubrication also helps absorb shock and vibration and keeps the equipment running at an acceptable temperature.
Lastly, turns off when not in use. This helps to conserve power and extend the lifespan of your device. It also prevents overheating and damages to devices from the power supply.
Importance of Medical Equipment Maintenance In Hospitals
A medical device, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), can be any instrument, apparatus, machine, appliance, or material intended for a medical purpose.
Medical equipment maintenance aims to provide adequate services and minimize downtime in service delivery.
Maintenance of medical equipment in hospitals also saves money.
An example is the reduction of cost price of dialysis machine if well maintained.
If they detect the problem early, it prevents the healthcare facility from spending more money to salvage the situation when it has escalated.
Lack of proper maintenance of medical equipment would force a healthcare facility to cancel appointments and reschedule.
This projects such facility to the patients as being unreliable. No hospital wants that to happen.
Lack of proper maintenance would lead to emergencies and could ultimately lead to loss of lives. Imagine a hospital working with a faulty patient monitor, for instance.
The patient monitor is an important device that helps doctors and nurses in monitoring the patient’s vital signs before, after, and during operation.
Without proper maintenance, an equipment like this is bound to fail and could lead to a loss of life if the doctors rely on its results.
Seeing these consequences that could arise from neglecting medical equipment maintenance, it becomes necessary to consider ways to maintain medical equipment.
FAQs on Equipment Maintenance In Hospitals
It is best to follow the guideline in the instruction manual of your device.
Autoclave manufacturers often recommend periodic checks be made every 4-6 weeks. For better results, clean the autoclave after every 20 cycles.
Corrective maintenance often requires fault isolation, replacement, re-alignment and testing. Providing reliable data for audits is a good maintenance practice too.
The cost of equipment maintenance in hospitals varies depending on the equipment and its upkeep. It is safe to budget between 5% – 8% of the acquisition cost for maintenance.
Conclusion On Maintenance of Equipment in Hospitals
According to Richard Whately, it is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.
Maintenance of equipment in hospitals is crucial in a health facility for quality performance and return on investment.
It must be planned and implemented strategically to keep the equipment safe and functional in line with regulatory standards.
Certain failures in healthcare service delivery can be averted if proper attention is given to medical equipment maintenance.
Most medical equipment come at a high cost in the initial investment and has a lifespan within which they perform accurately.
With proper maintenance, they can be kept in perfect working condition and their life span can be extended.
With modern technology comes a level of sophistication and specialization of devices.
This necessitates the need to outsource for special maintenance and repair.
At Medpau, we are one of the best medical equipment companies and suppliers in Nigeria.
We have certified engineers with decades of experience of maintenance of equipment in hospitals.