Maintenance of Medical Equipment

Maintenance of Medical Equipment

Having medical equipment is one thing but its maintenance is a totally different matter. More than 50% of hospitals and healthcare centers lack basic medical equipment and half of those who do possess such devices, are unable to use them because of the absence of proper maintenance.

Medical equipmentis those medical devices that require calibration, repairing, and user training. They range from sphygmomanometers to mammoth Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines. They are built, operated and maintained by clinical engineers.

Why Is It Important?

Most of the medical equipment are irreplaceable devices and are a result of complicated engineering. Some advanced forms of medical equipment are MRI, ECG, infusion pumps, and defibrillators. They are usually costly and a single machine can cost 1000s of dollars which is difficult for most of the hospitals to pay. It is, therefore, necessary to devise an upkeep program to make full use of these high-priced devices. Moreover, medical equipment is meant for public health which makes their maintenance and safety even more important.

There are three critical factors involved in the maintenance of medical equipment.

1 – Inventory

To have a brief account of thetotal number of devices required to be tracked for maintenance.

2 – Methodology

To formulate a method of maintenance for different machines.

3 – Resources

To ensure the availability of financial and human resources for maintenance.

Need of a Maintenance Program

Medical equipment demands regular care for maximum efficiency which they can lose overtime in the absence of a proper maintenance program. World Health Organization (WHO) has chalked out a brief maintenance program that includes three basic steps.


Includes regular safety and performance inspections to verify the efficiency of a device.

Preventive Maintenance

Refers to scheduled activities meant for extending the equipment life.

Corrective Maintenance

Involves recalibration or refurbishment of faulty devices.

The entire program is available on WHO website. Nevertheless, every hospital must have its own independent maintenance policy. Some progress has been made in this regard but still it is far from completion. There is a need to develop proper training programs and facilities to produce medical engineers and technologists. Few independent organizations including WHO are already donating medical equipment to hospitals in developing countries.

Key facts

Following are some of the interesting key facts regarding maintenance of medical equipment.

  • According to a report published by WHO, it is estimated that around 50-80% of medical equipment is non-functional in developing countries.
  • Annual economic losses suffered due to out of service medical equipment are $12.8 billion USD.
  • It is estimated that 80% of the total medical equipment under usage in sub-Saharan countries is donated and most of that is out of order.
  • 85% of African hospitals have difficulty in finding a qualified clinical engineer. It is 77% for Latin America and 60% for Asia.
  • Only 14 countries out of 145 have an independent health technology national policy.
  • These facts make it clear why it is important to have a well-managed and sustainable program for the upkeep of medical equipment. Check out this official website to know more.

A hospital is incomplete without its medical equipment. These are life-saving instruments that must be present in each and every hospital. For a patient struggling for survival on a hospital bed, these devices can be a matter of life and death. Medical equipment is part and parcel of every hospital and a doctor’s best companion but it is tragic to learn that thousands of hospitals around the globe are devoid of these facilities. Few even lack basic medical instruments while some don’t even have a complete staff. Any healthcare provider would never want his patient to suffer just because of lack of some devices but unfortunately, it is true for many hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities as most of them are not blessed with these essential machinery.

Medical instruments are of different types and for different purposes. Over the years, these instruments have evolved and they have become more efficient, time-saving and trust-worthy. So let’s have a look at the importance of medical equipment in various medical fields.

Importance in Operating Room

Most of the medical instruments can be found within an operating room. These include scalpels for cutting, forceps for holding, clamps and retractors. Other than that you may find some viewing equipment such as endoscopes and speculum. Some of the advanced equipment involved in an operation includes anesthesia machine, respiratory ventilators, suction pumps, and stabilizers. All this equipment can increase the chances of a successful operation manifolds.

Importance in Dentistry

You may already be aware of the daunting dental equipment that your dentist uses whenever you pay him a visit. Basic dental equipment includes sedation dentistry equipment, dental monitors, surgical chairs, lights, drills, and autoclaves. Sadly, many people have to suffer mostly in developing countries due to the absence of this equipment

Importance in Infant care

Medical equipment plays a vital role in infant care during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery care. Several complications may arise during the course of pregnancy that demands immediate attention. Any negligence at this stage can pose a serious risk on the lives of both mother and the child. Some of the equipment that every children’s ward must have includes ultrasounds, pediatric exam tables, infant warmers, incubators, monitors and phototherapy systems.

Importance in Veterinary

Animals require as much care as humans during illness especially domestic animals. A large number of animals die because of the absence of proper treatment causing loss of billions of dollars annually. Every veterinary hospital or center must have telemetry systems, anesthesia, centrifuges, autoclaves, incubators, equine equipment, x-ray imaging, ultrasound and ventilators.

The basic problem why most of the hospitals lack these important life-saving machines is money. For instance, one branded incubator costs around $2000 which is unaffordable for many low-class health care facilities. WHO is helping countries where hospitals lack basic health services by providing new or refurbished medical equipment.Many hospitals are dealing with out of order equipment due to lack of proper maintenance facilities. Hope it was helpful, see this service available here to know more.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *