For biomeds, the latest test equipment lightens the load

by Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter | August 05, 2011
From the July 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Plus, it saves plenty of time. “In the old days, it would take two hours to do one measurement that we can now do in 30 seconds,” says Fitzgerald.
For customers who are looking for specific measuring capabilities, the company manufactures a line of Unfors Solo products. There are currently five models available, including Unfors Solo CT, Unfors Solo Dose and Unfors Solo RAD.
Fluke Biomedical is also hoping to boost productivity by speeding up the testing process with two products that are currently pending Food and Drug Administration approvals.

The ProSim 4 is the company’s handheld, touch screen patient simulator for one-touch testing and troubleshooting “to get you in and out of the field location in 60 seconds,” Fluke’s Ivankovich said.

The ProSim 8 is a multifunction tester that can perform a complete patient monitor PM in five minutes, and the world’s only patient simulator “capable of testing new Masimo Rainbow SET SpO2 technology,” according to Ivankovich.
Whatever the tool, manufacturers know to take customer needs into account when it comes to product design. “We see that biomeds want to do their work faster and have more options about how they do their work,” says Pronk’s Ruiter. “They want to be portable and mobile. They want equipment that’s flexible, simple and easy to use.”

Measuring up?
While test equipment companies continue to innovate, it could be difficult to see how the latest tools actually affect the CE department.

To not only track their own performance but also compare themselves to peers across the country, many hospitals are now using benchmarking products. Programs are available from the ECRI Institute, Thomson Reuters and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

Frank Painter, a subject matter expert who was hired to create AAMI’s Benchmarking Solution (ABS) product, has been in the industry for a long time and has always used benchmarking in one way or another to improve quality or measure progress.

ABS consists of a set of benchmarks for biomeds that are most commonly used by CE departments and can be accessed online, explains Painter, who is also a clinical engineering consultant and an adjunct professor of clinical engineering at the University of Connecticut.

The solution covers benchmarks such as budgeting, personnel qualifications, interdepartmental relations, reporting structures, certification issues, staffing levels and inspections.

“Clinical engineering departments that subscribe to ABS put their data in and then can see their data, compare themselves to last year and the year before and also then look at [the data] of all their colleagues,” Painter says.

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