BlueFolder Blog

How to Write a Medical Equipment Management Plan

Jan 27, 2021

A medical equipment management plan (MEMP) is a guide developed by healthcare organizations and management to oversee and maintain medical equipment to safe and readily available standards. If your health organization is accredited by a medical regulatory agency, such as the Joint Commission, a medical equipment management plan will most likely be required to maintain such accreditations. Plus, it will help ensure your equipment can keep patients safe.

When constructing a plan for your health organization, aspects such as equipment maintenance programs and recall procedures must be addressed to sufficiently meet accreditation requirements. To better understand which critical aspects must be included for your organization, consider this guide to effectively writing a medical equipment management plan.

1. Set Your Objectives

Before diving straight into a medical equipment management plan, you must establish your objectives first. Here you should provide readers with an introduction to the efforts your organization will take to ensure both staff and patient safety. Such measures should include plans for routine inspections, testing, and maintenance efforts to properly address any and all medical equipment risk.

You can also use this section to outline the overarching goals for your equipment management plan. This section is typically brief and consists of a few sentences outlining high-level goals as well as bullet points of immediate objectives. 

Common initiatives found in the objective section of a medical equipment management plan include:

  • To reach all necessary requirements of accreditation established by any regulatory agencies like the Joint Commission.
  • To establish patient, employee, practitioner, and visitor protection and safety during medical equipment use.
  • To ensure all medical equipment used within the facility is maintained to specific standards to allow safe operation and immediate readiness.
  • To assess and uphold medical equipment performance to necessary standards.
  • To encourage safe and effective use of medical equipment by staff and practitioners within the health facility. 

2. Conduct an Equipment Inventory 

After laying out the objectives for your medical equipment management plan, next, describe your organization’s approach to maintaining an inventory of medical equipment. Remember to gather any necessary details, such as serial numbers, equipment location details, and specific maintenance information, to input into your equipment/asset management database. By collecting and routinely updating these details, you can efficiently schedule any required maintenance and testing sessions to properly adhere to your previously-mentioned objectives.

To better reach medical equipment safety standards, don’t forget to also identify all high-risk medical equipment, such as ventilators, defibrillators, and oxygen concentrators, within your inventory. The malfunction and failure of these life-sustaining pieces of equipment can cause severe injury or death, so it’s imperative you use a ranking system to highlight these machines’ importance within your inventory. By acknowledging all high-risk equipment within your facility, you can better prioritize maintenance and safety testing to effectively uphold a strong safety standard. 

3. Establish an Equipment Maintenance Plan 

Once all details have been collected to form a database in your medical equipment asset management software, you can now use that information to establish an equipment maintenance plan. This step will help keep all equipment up to code and prepared for immediate use. Based on the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations and accreditation requirements, develop a maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment. 

While addressing each equipment piece, be sure to also include any details regarding required equipment testing. Routine assessments, such as electrical safety testing, can help you identify any underlying concerns or performance issues you’ll need to make note of in your maintenance management system

Information regarding both maintenance and testing procedures should always be recorded within your maintenance plan, especially in regards to high-risk equipment. These details must include problem descriptions, performed repairs, maintenance actions, technician details, department location, and completion dates. When constructing this plan, remember to acknowledge access information for the maintenance management system being used to organize these details as well. 

4. Include an Incident Response Procedure

In the event a piece of medical equipment is attributed to an incident of injury, illness, or death, all details regarding the equipment failure must be documented. In your medical equipment management plan, keep in mind you must list any necessary contact information regarding the Medical Equipment Coordinator and Director of Risk Management to allow for proper reporting. If neither role is readily accessible, be sure to include contact information for the appropriate department within your facility.

Refer back to your equipment asset management software and include any updated information, such as the time and date of the equipment failure. These details can then be used when technicians are dispatched for repair. Plus, it can streamline your work order process to swiftly address any upcoming maintenance tasks. Likewise, if the equipment undergoes testing, all details of the results should be noted within the software. From here, a decision can be made to determine if the equipment is safe for any further use. 

5. Equipment Recall Procedure

As with equipment incidents, procedures must also be established in the event of an equipment recall. In your medical equipment management plan, layout any required steps Equipment Coordinators are to follow when notified of an equipment recall. Distribution of any equipment recall notices should also be sent to any responsible staff members, such as the Director of Risk Management or similar personnel.

Any circulation of new or updated medical equipment recall notices must be tracked and updated within the software. Similarly, if any actions are taken to address the recall, keep in mind to always update the equipment asset management database of any repairs, replacements, or testing to effectively monitor the system performance.

Notice of these recalls must be inputted into the equipment asset management software as well. The proper personnel can then refer to the software to locate and collect any recalled equipment, and prevent any further use.

Establish an Effective Medical Equipment Management Plan Today 

The importance of a medical equipment management plan doesn’t just stop at the requirements needed for accreditation by medical regulatory agencies. From equipment asset management databases to equipment recall procedures, these plans are essential to the safety of patients, staff, practitioners, and visitors located within your healthcare organization. 

With the help of medical equipment service software, these essential parts of a strong medical equipment management plan can be easily implemented, so you can be confident in your practice’s ability to keep your business, and everyone in it, safe. For help upholding top safety standards and performance, contact BlueFolder today.

By Jeff Emrich