Managing Medical Technology
While essential to many core operations within healthcare facilities, medical technology can be frustrating to manage. They’re in constant use, usually on the move, and frequently in need of service. If you’re spending too much time chasing down and servicing your facility’s equipment, it’s time to consider a new approach to medtech management.
Developing a comprehensive medtech management strategy takes work. It goes beyond real-time location tracking or condition monitoring of equipment. It also extends to efficient life cycle planning and maintenance.
The ever-present need for functional equipment
Functioning medtech is as essential to healthcare outcomes as qualified providers. Some equipment, such as MRI machines and laboratory centrifuges, remains fixed in place, but much of a facility’s medtech is portable and distributed throughout various care and treatment units. These everyday assets — from IV poles to ultrasound carts — are ever in demand and always on the move.
This portable medtech inventory is most at risk for mismanagement. Constant handling and repeated use by personnel across different environments generates high demand for upkeep and maintenance. It only takes one incident, accident, or moment of neglect to render essential equipment faulty or unusable.
Addressing these problems as quickly as possible requires a system for tracking medtech location and status in real time. Real-time management of medical devices enables a quick response to remedy these issues — or prevent them entirely.
Challenges in tracking and maintaining medtech
Medtech management starts by getting a handle on your facility’s technology inventory and each piece’s role in the patient care you provide. Ultrasound probes are a great example. They’re often mobile, broadly utilized, and prone to defect if mishandled or undermaintained. Facility or technology managers should be able to account for each machine’s history, condition, and other quantifiable variables before creating a strategy for medtech management.
Once there’s a clear picture of inventory, managers need to identify and address the dynamic considerations surrounding equipment upkeep, including:
- Allocating and sharing tech between departments.
- Building a system for locating assets within your facility.
- Creating a reporting system for problems or defects.
- Finding a vendor capable of high-tech service, maintenance, and repair.
- Handling equipment properly for storage and transport.
- Keeping detailed records of equipment maintenance and repairs.
Accounting for moveable equipment is the single biggest challenge medical technology managers face. Orchestrating a management system for portable medtech requires a series of checks and balances. A functional system enables the movement and application of medtech within your facility, while continuously accounting for its location and condition.
The cost of inefficient medtech management
Managing and maintaining medtech is arduous, and the development of a comprehensive management system may require significant investment. That said, it’s an investment worth making because management system costs pale in comparison to the cost of troublesome assets. Investing in effective and efficient medical asset management is a long-term cost-saving endeavor.
Here again, consider an ultrasound probe. Developing a system to track, monitor, service, and maintain these costly assets can directly offset other, more significant costs, including the cost of probe replacement and, in the worst case, the consequences of misdiagnosing patients due to faulty imaging equipment. But with proper upkeep and maintenance, your facility can ensure diagnostic integrity, extend the useful life of your medtech, and maximize the return on your initial investment.
Ultrasound probes need a well-defined medtech management strategy, but every piece of high-tech equipment benefits from a comprehensive system designed to ensure regular functionality, adaptive maintenance, thorough reporting, and real-time tracking.
Life cycle maintenance is worth the effort
Good medtech management keeps your equipment available, functional, accurate, and safe. Behind the scenes, this means comprehensive systems for tracking, managing, maintaining, repairing, and documenting equipment throughout its life cycle. Gaps in your facility’s medtech management system can have direct and dire effects on equipment integrity, which makes it critical to create checks and balances.
Learn more about comprehensive medtech management for your ultrasound technology at acertaralabs.com.