Medical Equipment Preventive Maintenance, also known as PM, is: “the care and servicing by trained personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.” (US Department of Defense, 2005)
So what does this mean to you? If you are the owner of any type of Medical Equipment, then your equipment should be receiving PMs on a regular basis.
If your equipment/company is not under any type of accreditation system, then according to the FDA: PM inspections on your equipment should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance. If you are under an accreditation system, the PM inspection guidelines will be outlined in your program. Preventive Maintenance should be routine on medical equipment because it is making human contact, saving lives, and helping to determine diagnoses, just to name a few reasons. Without consistently having your equipment go through Preventive Maintenance, you run the risk of being out of compliance and be subject to liability if it is used on a patient and any issues arise involving that patient.
Here are some tips that you should inquire about when looking for a company to perform the Preventive Maintenance on your equipment:
- Does the company carry General Liability Insurance?
- Are the Biomeds trained and can the company show proof of training?
- Does the company use Test Equipment for the PM’s?
- What Test Equipment is used?
- Is the Test Equipment current on calibration, when was the last time that it was calibrated, and due for next calibration?
- Does the company upgrade the equipment’s software to the latest version?
- Does the company calibrate all parameters of the equipment?
- Does the company follow the manufacturer’s guidelines/requirements for Preventive Maintenance of your equipment?
- Does the company provide test documentation for each PM?
- Would the test documentation be sufficient for your accreditation system, or hold up in court?
- If test documentation is lost are you able to request new reports? Is there a time frame for this request?
- Is there a warranty with the PM?
- Are any parts included with the PM, if so what?
- Is the PM for your equipment required or recommend and how often?
- Taking all of these recommendations into consideration and keeping your Medical Equipment on a routine PM cycle will not only protect you and your company, but will also ensure the safety of the patients that it is being used on. Preventive Maintenance of your equipment is what will give you piece of mind, ensuring that the equipment will do its job when needed most.