Q: Our facility is having difficulty retaining staff in our transport and other support areas. I have been asked by my COO if we could create a higher level position; (better pay) for persons that have shown an ability to multitask, or excel in their current job where they do menial tasks such as electrical safety or environmental survey rounds in hosptial rooms for outdated stickers and unsafe conditions. I was wondering if anybody out there was currently doing this or if you have looked at this type of system within your hosptials. I do know that there are some staff in these areas that would be well suited to do this task with proper training and an annual or semi-annual compentency check. This would help in two ways that I can see. It could be a springboard to help younger job seekers (employees) maybe decide to go on to college to become a skilled biomed or nurse, as well as take some of the lesser value work off of the higher paid engineers and allow them to do what they do best. I have heard of hospitals that have a PM only staff; but never to this degree of helping out to keep and retain talented staff in other departments. I conceive this being something like a transporter would be doing electrical/environmental only inspections during their lull period and then go back to transporting when the transport need arises. Any comments will be greatly appreciated about this idea and/or how a PM only person(s) structure works well or not. If you have tried or are currently doing something like this, I would love to hear about pitfalls or milestones you have encountered.
A: Great idea and forward thinking. In a JACHO inspection not too long ago we were asked by the inspector, who happened to be a retired engineer, what makes us qualified to work on certain equipment, he was asking all of us but was looking at one of our Biomed I technicians.
This question could have been drilled down to a gnats fanny if he wanted to but he was OK with our response which was: We have competencies for our staff on test equipment. We hold weekly cross-training sessions which are documented and our staff has a PM competency for that specific piece of equipment signed off on by a senior tech. The inspector already knew this individual had an associate of science degree in biomed technology.
I just wonder, in your case, how far your competency check-off list would go if somehow a patient was injured or worse. A good lawyer would have some serious concerns about your staffing methods if this situation happened to occur. I would certainly run the idea through your risk/quality folks as well as your EOC committee just to protect yourself. I would also look at my risk assessment policy in my equipment management plan and determine the cut-off point which you would feel comfortable having this type equipment have maintenance performed by these job positions. Our risk assessment is in levels from patient death/injury to no significant risk. Whatever you decide, I would also run this decision through the committee.
Unfortunately, in my career, I have been in front of multiple lawyers giving a deposition multiple times. It’s quite impressive how the lawyers drill down on qualifications for those who work on medical equipment. The moneymaker is finding fault in the facility and this is often by having someone in the facility do something wrong, out of policy or having non-qualified folks performing tasks they should not be doing. The latter is often the case.
I remember one particular incident many years ago at another facility I worked at. There was a STAT call for me to go to nuc med. When I arrived there was a middle-aged male getting off the floor, the carbon fiber table top had broke and he fell. The very first thing out of his mouth was “I want to see all maintenance records for this equipment.” I kid you not. Fortunately. in this case, the manufacturer of the table was at fault and there was a nationwide recall.
Not trying to yell “the sky is falling” I would just spread the risk, make sure the equipment they work on is not critical and to show competencies and continued education.
A: I’m trying to do that here, we have been a one biomed shop but over time the hospital has grown, and since I’m also the preparedness coordinator, safety equipment management coordinator for biomed/facilities, and other responsibilities, I am begging for at least a part-time employee who I can train and who can do the mundane stuff and work their way up.
A: We have two staff members that rotate through the hospital and clinics cleaning medical equipment on the floors. Part of their duties are to report safety issues and physical plant issues. Their title is “Equipment Technician.”
Q: I have a Philips HDI 5000. It gives the FEC error 19C40404. My manual gives no more detail than FEC. It also states the source could be elsewhere. The symptom is a boot error of 002 only when a probe is selected. Diagnostics do not give an error. Selecting the fake probe results in the same symptoms. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
A: Reseat all the boards in FEC. Also make sure you do not have L12 in slot one because it will bog down the FEC. Check power supply,
Follow Up: Appears to be fixed. I found the PSM voltages to be in spec and clean except the 5V and 5Vref. The 5Vref has noise, approximately 100mV. The 5V supply was 5.22V and no noise. The max allowed is 5.1V. I checked a second machine and it had 5.18V. The first machine would produce the error every time a probe was selected. The second machine would only do this occasionally. After much searching and head scratching I found the Vicor supply to be the problem. The PSM has 3 Vicor 5V modules. There is a master and two slaves to boost available current. The master is controlled on the Trim or SC input. I found all feedback and trim components to be within spec. It would appear the Vicor modules change with age. By reducing the size of the gain resistor R832 on U39 voltage set amplifier the voltage is reduced on the master 5V Vicor supply module. A 10 percent reduction of resistance results in approximately 5 percent voltage reduction. Now that the 5V supply is running at 5.08 the unit has not failed. The second machine has not failed either. I never did find the source for the noise on the 5V ref line. It does not seem to cause image noise or any other problems. Hope this helps. I have a hand drawn schematic of the Trim set amplifiers if anyone is interested.
A: I found your post at a forum where you wrote that you had error 002 in your ultrasound. Can you send me schematic of the Trim set. Maybe you have advice how to win this error?
Follow Up: I found that my first solution of the trim resistors did not take care of the whole problem. It showed up after my return. I can send the partial schematic if you would like.
A: Remove the front-end controller and look for a burnt spot on the motherboard. We had the same problem that drove us crazy until we discovered the motherboard had a partial burn transistor.
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