I have looked at the PM (Preventive Maintenance) practices for many hospitals. I am scared by what I see in many places.
As we all know, there are hundreds of different types pf patient care equipment. When you factor in the different manufacturers and models, there are literally thousands of different items which we are asked to maintain. A major part of the job of an HTM professional is to perform scheduled (or routine) maintenance on these items to make sure that they are operating in a safe, reliable, accurate and predictable manner. This is how quality patient care can be maximized.
Can we expect HTM professionals to remember each and every test procedure for each and every different item of patient care equipment in the hospital? No way. It is for this reason that we are asked to either follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures, or develop our own written and controlled procedures which standardize and guide the technicians through the testing and checkout process.
HTM shops have several ways of managing their PM procedures. Here are a few:
1. Some have a blanket statement that refers the technician to the manufacturer’s literature for the PM procedure to be completed.
2. Some reproduce the manufacturer’s procedure in their CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) system to make it available for the technician when the PM is due. The original PM may either be retyped or scanned into the computer.
3. Some have a master PM book, which has master copies of all PM procedures. The technicians carry this around and refer to this book to see which tasks to perform when a PM is due.
4. Still others have no reference, merely telling the technician to perform the manufacturer’s PM.
Whichever of these processes you might use, it still requires each shop to research the PM requirements for every different model of equipment in the PM program and figure out how to make the substance of it available to the technician performing the work. I believe this is ineffective and inefficient for a couple of reasons.
First, there is a tremendous amount of redundant work being done for each one to research the very same model of equipment to determine the PM procedure.
Second, there is a lot of variability in the work philosophy from manager to manager, so the amount of detail will vary according to who is doing the review and determination.
I recommend the following:
Let’s create a central repository for PM procedures for medical devices. This repository can then be accessed by anybody, modified at their discretion, and provide a starting point that is much easier to use and access than researching hundreds of individual manufacturer service manuals.
It would work like this:
First, we would have to assemble a committee to set some guidelines for the creation of the PM procedures. They might have to be different for general biomedical, imaging laboratory and IT equipment.
Next, we would need a repository for the procedures. I was thinking that MedWrench at MD Publishing might be the perfect place, since they already have most equipment models identified and could simply add a tab under each one for “PM Procedure.”
Different people could contribute their procedures to the repository, under the appropriate review and scrutiny.
People could then comment on the individual procedures, in case there was something left out or in error.
If a system like this could be created, it would relieve the pressure on everybody to create their own procedures and provide access to streamlined, appropriate procedures that everybody can use. This should also keep CMS, DNV, TJC and others happy.
Anybody have comments of suggestions on this plan? Anybody want to be a part of the planning for it?
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