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A Medical Equipment Replacement Score System

Taylor, Kevin MScEng, PEng; Jackson, Stephen MA

FEATURE ARTICLES: Special Section: Tracking Medical Equipment and Risk

What is the best way to prioritize the replacement of equipment in a health facility or system? Most experienced biomedical engineers have qualitative mental process, which addresses most of the pressing medical technology replacement needs and ensures future system development. Of course they also have learned to accept that user "pet" projects, the most recent failure events that users are aware of, and politics will drive many equipment replacement decisions. A rule base, which can quantify the critical factors that medical technology managers, users, and healthcare executive feel are necessary to make decisions, could be developed. A Medical Equipment Replacement Score system can be designed and easily programmed to access information from most computerized maintenance management systems and produce real-time equipment replacement prioritization results.

What is the best way to prioritize the replacement of equipment in a health facility or system? Most experienced biomedical engineers have qualitative mental process, which addresses most of the pressing medical technology replacement needs and ensures future system development. Of course they also have learned to accept that user "pet" projects, the most recent failure events that users are aware of, and politics will drive many equipment replacement decisions. A rule base, which can quantify the critical factors that medical technology managers, users, and healthcare executive feel are necessary to make decisions, could be developed. A Medical Equipment Replacement Score system can be designed and easily programmed to access information from most computerized maintenance management systems and produce real-time equipment replacement prioritization results.

Stanton Territorial Health Authority, Yellowknife, NT, Canada

Corresponding author: Kevin Taylor, MScEng, PEng, Biomedical Engineering, Stanton Territorial Health Authority, 550 Byrne Road, Yellowknife, NT, Canada X1A 2N1.

Kevin Taylor, MScEng, Peng, is the Biomedical Engineer for the Northwest Territories and parts of Nunavut Territory. Over the past 10 year he has worked as the Clinical Engineer at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, for ORBIS International, and for the Oregon Health Sciences University. He has recently accepted employment with the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council to build a Medical Technology Management program from scratch for their facilities in The Gambia.

Stephen Jackson, MA, has 10 years of healthcare management and planning experience in the government, hospital, and private sectors. He has a Masters degree from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and is completing designation as a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. He currently manages Planning and Development for the Stanton Territorial Health Authority.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.