Common Mistakes Done in Equipment Planning
The strength of a hospital lies mainly in the quality of its clinical care and this depends largely on the range, quality and availability of medical equipment used. This is why healthcare quality management consider hospital equipment planning as one of its top priorities while commissioning a hospital.
Hospital equipment planning has to be given prime importance right from the hospital planning and execution stages in order to ensure the smooth functioning and efficiency of the hospital. On one hand, all types of medical equipment are expensive while on the other hand, they become quickly outdated with newer versions arriving in the market. The hospital must not only be well-equipped with the latest equipment and also have trained technicians to operate these newest machines. All these challenges can cause errors inadvertently and this cannot be afforded by the hospital.
Errors in hospital equipment planning cannot be entertained as these can prove costly to the hospital and endanger the lives of patients. This is why hospitals accord special attention to the planning, purchase and installation of their equipment in order to provide precise and perfect quality clinical care to their patients. This is why most hospitals seek the services of expert and professional healthcare consulting firms to guide them in this task of hospital equipment planning.
Given below is a list of probable errors that must be avoided in hospital equipment planning.
Mistakes in hospital equipment planning
- Is this the right equipment?
Every professional hospital needs sophisticated medical equipment to provide quality clinical care. But in the enthusiasm to project themselves as a “high-tech” healthcare unit, most hospitals may end up buying equipment they do not really need. This lead to unnecessary overheads and revenue loss. On the other hand, some hospitals may avoid buying the latest equipment and settle for second best to compromise their budget. This may cause diagnostic errors or therapeutic errors due to factors like poor resolution, equipment insufficiency etc. Both of these cases must be avoided in a hospital to ensure its service quality.
Hospitals must first perform a need analysis of what equipment they need, make a research of the type of equipment they need, make cost comparisons and finally arrive at the right decision. This laborious task is bet entrusted to a competent healthcare consulting firm to get quick and right results.
- Failure to understand what the equipment’s requirements are
Buying sophisticated medical equipment is one thing, handling it right is another. Certain imaging, surgical and diagnostic equipment have certain system requirement like lighting, air-conditioning, humidity and temperature control, backup power supply etc. If these are not provided in the required manner, the equipment will malfunction or yield erroneous results. This is why hospitals must first underhand the requirement of the equipment before its purchase and installation and plan for it accordingly.
- Lack of training and incorrect usage of the equipment
The use of high-tech medical equipment requires its installation and operation in a prescribed manner. Hospitals have to install and calibrate the equipment as per instruction and also train the technicians and staff of the standard operating procedure. If this training is not provided, equipment may be misused leading to erroneous results and heavy losses.
For instance, without proper training, a phlebotomist may not know how to draw blood correctly and may cause injury to the patient. X-ray technicians may fail to cover the patient properly exposing them to radiation damage. These are the lapses caused by the lack of training of the equipment-operating personnel by the hospital.
To avoid such lapses, hospitals entrust the training of technical staff to expert healthcare consulting firms who can handle this task efficiently.
- Is the equipment accessible easily?
Hospitals must plan the location and accessibility of the equipment in their premises during the hospital planning and execution phase itself. For example, the scanning room is best located close to the operating theatre or the emergency room. This make it easy to scan the patient’s condition and execute operations without delay. If the equipment are not easily accessible, it worsens the patients’ condition and jeopardizes their health.
- Are the supporting structures strong enough?
Medical equipment like the cyclotron and MRI weigh about 10-20 tonnes. They need strong supporting structures like floors and ceilings which have to be doubly-reinforced with steel to withstand the vibration. They also need noise and radiation-proof enclosures. The hospital must ensure that the equipment is installed with robust supporting structures to ensure complete safety to the patients.
Procuring medical equipment for the hospital is an easy task but making optimum use of it without encountering the above errors is only possible with the assistance of a certified healthcare consulting firm.