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Medical devices such as ventilators are crucial in treating patients who have COVID-19. As the number of patients who need to be treated around the clock grow, the need for medical device maintenance repair has only increased.

According to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), there have been increased reports of individuals who are not trained in healthcare technology that have been recommissioning, repairing, or maintaining life-saving devices.

“While AAMI is aware of well-intentioned work in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is imperative that patients are not put at risk,” says Rob Jensen, AAMI’s president and chief executive officer. “AAMI strongly encourages those new to this arena to seek out health technology management experts at the earliest opportunity to maximize the benefit of your efforts.”

Medical facilities are doing all that they can to ensure quality and timely care for their patients, and recent news cites efforts such as designing new equipment, recommissioning older devices, refurbishing devices, and adapting technologies to increase the amount of patients they can serve, according to 24xMag.

While these efforts are necessary, it is important that trained healthcare technology professionals are repairing, maintaining and operating them amidst these new efforts. HTM professionals have been trained to maintain these devices daily and are an important way to ensure a high standard of performance and a healthcare facility repurpose devices to serve patients affected by the pandemic.

“As health technology experts, HTM professionals should be consulted when attempting to refurbish or fix medical equipment and technology—especially during crisis situations where expertise is vital,” Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM at AAMI said.

McGeary continues, “Even as health systems are strained by the coronavirus pandemic, HTM departments must ensure that all equipment is functioning to the manufacturer’s specifications prior to being placed on a patient. With medical equipment arriving at hospitals from so many different sources, now is not the time to skip any incoming inspections.”