How to Reduce Your Hospital’s Equipment Downtime

Hospital equipment downtime spells disaster for all medical agencies. Since most equipment is used to run tests, hold important patient data, and regulate life-giving operations for some patients, hospitals, and healthcare facilities that rely on technology face serious consequences when a few or all machines stop working for one reason or another. No facility has time for medical equipment failure.

Whether power outages, equipment malfunction, error, cybersecurity breach, or otherwise befalls your hospital, medical agency equipment must always be working and accessible for the health and safety of patients. For example, in July 2018, Blount Memorial Hospital in Tennessee suffered three days without a working electronic health records system, resulting in a lack of access to patient records, patient care, appointment cancellation, and potential data leaks. Other hospitals have had similar experiences.

The complexity of the healthcare system requires that technology is working appropriately so that doctors and nurses can access the right information to care for their patients and ensure that patient data does not fall into the wrong hands.

Reduce your hospital’s equipment downtime with the following tips.

  1. Analyze the Possible Equipment Downtime

Every piece of equipment has inherent reliability that’s determined by its quality of design, materials, and construction. Unsurprisingly, the higher the quality of the equipment, the more likely it is to work correctly for a longer period of time. Other factors to include in this analysis are equipment maintenance, operation, support services, and proper accessories.

  1. Recognize Common Reasons for Equipment Breakdown

Medical equipment breaks down for many, many reasons. To create preventive maintenance programs, medical facilities need to know the reasons behind machine failure or malfunction to help protect their operations. The following are a few reasons that equipment usually breaks down.

  • Heavy physical stress
  • Accidental dropping of the device
  • Environmental conditions that add wear
  • Poor installation
  • Incorrect maintenance
  • Low-quality hardware design
  • General wear and tear
  • Random failure of parts
  1. Keep Track of Reasons for Equipment Failure

While it’s easy to find a list of the common reasons above, medical agencies need to keep a record of the reasons that their equipment is failing. This list will be key in determining how to best care for equipment. Medical professionals should be trained to file a report on every breakdown or machine failure. When certain trends become apparent in machines, it’ll be possible to create a plan of action to find an appropriate solution.

  1. Create a Preventive Maintenance Program

Medical devices and technology are known to eventually break down. As a healthcare facility tracks these failures and repairs, this information can become the foundation for a preventive maintenance program. Moreover, the equipment manufacturer should also provide options for maintenance and customer service.

  • Train equipment users on appropriate operation techniques
  • Provide a battery care program
  • Ensure the right accessories are available
  • Maintain the right environmental conditions for equipment

Not only is it crucial for hospital equipment to experience very little downtime for patient health and safety, but it’s also important from a legal standpoint too. This means keeping your inventory list updated and at the ready. An inventory list with data on equipment failures and follow-ups will benefit your medical agency’s legal compliance while also helping to form a risk management plan.

Reducing your hospital equipment downtime ensures the efficiency of your office’s operations. We can help! Contact InterMed today for equipment maintenance or replacement.