Advances in technology have made complex hospital equipment a routine part of everyday hospital care.
Telemetry (heart) monitors, pulse oximetry (blood oxygen) monitors, intravenous (IV) infusion pumps, and specialized electronic beds are some of the common pieces of equipment that hospitals are responsible for maintaining in order to provide safe and effective care.
Hospital employees who are trained to check and repair biomedical equipment (medical equipment used on people) keep maintenance records for all hospital equipment. Specialized equipment, such as lasers, may require maintenance from the manufacturer; however, hospital staff can track service times to ensure proper maintenance.
According to the Joint Commission, patients and visitors also have a role in keeping hospital equipment safe. They can:
- use equipment as directed by hospital staff
- report problems with beds, wheelchairs, call lights, or other equipment that is not functioning properly
- ask a nurse to test infusion pumps, heart monitors, or other devices with alarms in order to hear the alarm sound and to know when to report problems