If you are someone who is a decision-maker for a healthcare technology program (a.k.a. clinical engineering or biomedical engineering) of either a hospital or a third-party service company, or you are someone who has responsibility for computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) data analysis, have you visited the Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) Community’s MediaWiki-powered database website?
If not, I’d like to bend your ear a bit to convince you to do so, and to actively participate. The entire industry has a longstanding problem gathering enough data to make truly rational decisions about the need for periodic maintenance on medical devices.
The objectives of this wiki are as follows:
- To establish some simple, practical metrics for determining the relative effectiveness of different equipment maintenance practices with respect to achieving an acceptable level of equipment reliability and maintenance-related patient safety.
- To establish a standardized method for collecting the data required to generate those metrics.
- To maintain a set of tables in which data collected in accordance with the standardized method can be aggregated into a body of supporting evidence.
- To periodically review the aggregated data for specific manufacturer—model versions of the different types of device and document judgments on the apparent level of maintenance-related reliability and safety.
In order to make the wiki useful, we need data gathered in a common format described on the site. Advocate Clinical Engineering in Illinois recently made a commitment to structure its CMMS to begin to collect real data using the recommended data structure. This is a significant effort on their part.
We need other decision-makers in healthcare technology management to make a similar commitment with their organizations. Please take time to visit the wiki site. For more information, see the following article:
- Malcolm Ridgway and Alan Lipschultz (2014) Doing It by the Numbers. BiI&T: Jan./Feb. 2014, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 72-72.
Alan Lipschultz, CCE, PE, CSP, is president and CEO of HealthCare Technology Consulting LLC.