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JCAHO's Equipment Inclusion Criteria Revisited — Application of Statistical Sampling Technique

Wang, Binseng1; Rice, William P.2


JCAHO revised its equipment management standards in July 2001, effectively decoupling the inclusion of a piece of equipment and its inspection requirements. This revision offers a great opportunity to improve equipment management in almost all healthcare organizations. Instead of being required to perform inspections on all equipment included in the Equipment Management Plan (and ignore those not included), the clinical engineering manager can use statistical sampling techniques to select a portion of equipment for inspection. The selection can be performed using the criteria previously proposed for inclusion and certain statistical parameters approved by the safety committee. Two sampling techniques are presented here. The first one, a simplified version of gradient risk sampling (GRS), is easy to implement but not statistically robust. The second one, attributes sampling, is based on extensive experience accumulated in industry but requires some knowledge to implement. Both can help organizations to optimize the use of limited resources in reducing patient and organizational risks through periodic safety and performance inspections of their clinical equipment. Another improvement opportunity provided by the JCAHO revision discussed in this article is the assignment of inspection intervals as a function of equipment classification.

1MEDIQ/PRN Life Support Services, Inc., Pennsauken, NJ 2Saint Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield, WI

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.