MLMIC Risk Management Tip #4 addresses medical professional liability risks related to “Management of Medical Equipment for Patient Care.”
Many procedures are performed in the office setting using physician-owned or leased medical equipment. Failure or malfunction of this equipment may lead to patient, staff or provider injury. The appropriate maintenance of this equipment is essential to patient safety.
- A process should be in place for maintenance of medical equipment. The manufacturers’ directions for use and recommended preventative maintenance schedule should be followed.
- A record of all maintenance activities should be generated and retained.
- All patient care equipment should be inspected on an annual basis at a minimum, or more often if recommended by the manufacturer.
- Equipment should be labeled with the inspection date, the initials of the inspector, and the date that the next inspection is due.
- A designated staff member should confirm that all required inspections and preventative maintenance of equipment is performed at appropriate intervals.
- Relevant staff should be properly trained in the use of medical equipment. Documentation of training and education should be maintained in their personnel files.
- The scope of practice of medical personnel/licensed staff must be considered when they perform or assist in a procedure and/or use medical equipment.
- A process should be in place that requires the immediate removal of malfunctioning equipment from use in the practice. This process should include a provision to sequester any piece of equipment which may be directly involved in injury to a patient, staff, or provider. Prompt notification to your medical professional liability insurance carrier is recommended when an equipment related patient injury occurs.
This MLMIC Risk Management Tip is available here as a PDF: “Management of Medical Equipment for Patient Care.”