Medical Equipment Cleaning & Service Mistakes Raise Health Concerns

RMI ADVANTAGE / April 30, 2024

The CDC found that recently, Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) with antibiotic resistance were most commonly found in patients having used durable medical equipment like ventilators. Unlike the leasing environment for trailers or construction equipment medical devices follow a higher standard of regulatory guidelines. Performing proper service on each device is crucial to the health of your equipment, business, and most importantly, the patient. 

The cause of each infection found by the CDC is yet to be determined and the illnesses have not been linked any cases to service technician maintenance. Wherever the shortfall lies, medical equipment providers can be held accountable for service performed by both internally and by contracted service technicians, highlighting the importance of a DME software that will properly track and alert businesses of service due dates to maintain reliability and accountability.

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What remains clear from the CDC’s statement is that it’s not the typical surgical site infections that led to these infections in patients but limited use DME/HME. Though public outcry or pandemic outbreak is not on the horizon this topic unearths the importance of proper sterilization and cleaning of all equipment prior to renting and leasing. Despite the lack of data to pinpoint the origin of responsibility for cleaning these devices, it is safe to conclude that each case was preventable with proper communication among all parties involved can only improve these statistics. Integrated DME service software that will hold users accountable and digitize both records and email or memo correspondence are examples of steps in the right direction.

Digitize Records – DME Service Software(s)

Illegible handwriting, improperly quoted service add-ons, and late or lost tickets all contribute to an inefficient service department. Preventable errors can be mitigating with access to a medical equipment mobile app for entering part numbers and service add-ons in real-time while performing maintenance. Following service activities, use your mobile device to collect a customer signature that is stored in a HIIPA compliant cloud software that can be accessed by the home office immediately following service completion.

Advanced Tracking – Tracking Medical Equipment

Detailed information about the patient name and room number associated with each piece of equipment delivers precise information for units being held in rooms with multiple occupants and eliminates confusion in the billing process. Tracking when and where every piece of machinery was moved or evaluated is a crucial juncture where medical facilities must share responsibility with the equipment companies for patient use. Maintaining detailed records in a centralized location like an industry-specific software for DME companies will deliver the flexibility to make changes whenever a medical facility moves equipment between rooms, providing integral insight without IT experts or consultants.

Reporting – Medical Equipment Reporting

Reporting improves communication by framing information in different and meaningful ways. For example: snapshots of each technician’s performance viewed as an overall ‘scorecard’ calculated by your medical rental software can display the amount of productive vs nonproductive hours and shop vs road service performed for each technician while tracing back every tool and part used for each request.

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When you are a trusted seller of DME/HME equipment your customers confide in your ability to track every job detail and employ expert technicians familiar with their equipment’s maintenance. When setup properly, one medical software can deliver everything your service department needs to establish a new set of operating procedures or supplement your current operations. ADVANTAGE 365, for example, offers additional DME/HME specific features like Prebilling to ensure service billing errors, credit memos, or bank reconciliations never enter your system.  

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