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Risk Management for Equipment Maintenance

The technology you use in your practice may help to set you apart from other practices; however, proper maintenance of that technology is imperative to prevent patient harm.

One of the top ten risk areas on our Practice Savings Checklist is in reference to equipment safety. The technology you use in your practice may help to set you apart from other practices; however, proper maintenance of that technology is imperative to prevent patient harm. The information herein is universal for any equipment which you may use whether it be purchased, rented, borrowed or leased.

Inventory Log

The first step in properly managing your equipment risk exposure is to create an inventory log of all the equipment in your practice. This includes:

  • Manufacturer’s name
  • Model and serial numbers
  • software version (if applicable)
  • Purchase date
  • Warranty information
    • Lth of time
    • Details of what is included
  • Name and contact information of the maintenance contractor (if applicable)
  • Location

Maintenance Log

The next step is creating a maintenance log detailing when each of the following steps is completed and by whom. This log should reference: 

  • Periodic inspections
  • Periodic testing
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Repairs and servicing (why, by whom, what was done, date)
  • Modifications or changes made (to include cleaning supplies, procedures, etc.)

In addition, your policy/procedure manual should include a checklist with the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual steps undertaken as part of your routine equipment maintenance.

Equipment Training

Before any equipment is used on a patient, staff training must occur and be documented. Training should include:

  • How to set up, use, calibrate and clean equipment:
    • Use of equipment should be limited only to those individuals who have been trained
    • Cleaning protocols and solutions should be consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • What steps to take if a device malfunctions or is recalled:
    • Reporting steps
    • How to prevent continued use
    • Who to contact for repairs
    • Appropriate documentation
  • If a patient is harmed as a result of a piece of equipment:
    • How to initiate an incident response plan
      • Stabilize patient
      • Isolate the equipment so it cannot be used (do not return it to the manufacturer)
      • Document the incident and the circumstances surrounding the incident
      • Call our claims hotline at: 800-864-6504 to discuss the situation with a claims representative.

Professional Solutions Insurance Company can answer any questions you have about risk management for equipment maintenance.

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