Maintaining normothermia in the operating room is key to positive clinical outcomes.
In fact, this ASPAN Clinical Practice Guideline states, "Perioperative hypothermia, defined as a core temperature below 36 C, has adverse effects that range from patient thermal discomfort to increased morbidity and mortality."
Medical assistance to maintain normothermia can include heating and cooling blankets or pads, as well as more advanced devices that go further by directly cooling blood or fluids.
A key to successful clinical outcomes is for this temperature maintenance to continue throughout the surgery without pause. Normothermia requires continuous mechanical operations and properly functioning temperature management equipment.
Proper Equipment Maintenance is Key
Understanding the importance of proper equipment maintenance and how to prevent malfunctions in the OR is key to preventing patient issues. Eventually, all mechanical devices malfunction, and there are basically two approaches to addressing those issues. One is post-failure repair, and the other is pre-failure, i.e. preventive, maintenance.
Predicting Equipment Failures
While some equipment items may give warning before wearing out or functioning improperly, such is not the case in all instances. One way to possibly predict when an item may be approaching a failure is when it goes out of calibration more often than usual or when the re-calibration process requires more time than usual. Sensor malfunctions may also be a precursor of more serious failures.
Benefits of Preventive Maintenance
The most important benefit of preventive maintenance is that of providing continuity of proper operation. After all, properly operating medical devices contribute to the health and well-being of the patient, and improperly functioning equipment may put the patient at risk.
But if that wasn't enough, the benefits go even further. This article by Able Services lists the following benefits:
- Equipment downtime is decreased and the number of major repairs are reduced
- Better conservation of assets and increased life expectancy of assets, thereby eliminating premature replacement of machinery and equipment
- Reduced overtime costs and more economical use of maintenance workers due to working on a scheduled basis instead of a crash basis to repair breakdowns
- Timely, routine repairs circumvent fewer large-scale repairs
- Improved safety and quality conditions for everyone
We can extrapolate some thoughts from that article and suggest that preventive maintenance helps the healthcare facility to:
- Save Money - Routine maintenance generally costs less than machine repairs and mechanical replacements. Medical equipment repair costs can add up quickly, especially when the failure occurs after hours or on weekends.
- Save Delivery Wait Time - Replacement equipment can take time to obtain, and while professional equipment services may be able to provide expedited delivery, there will still be a delay which can represent lost revenue from delayed and rescheduled procedures.
- Improve Efficiency - Well-maintained equipment typically works better, reducing downtime and unexpected repair costs, allowing you to work smarter, not harder.
- Increase Safety - Malfunctioning equipment can pose a danger to both the patient and the provider. Improve your facility safety by keeping things in proper running order.
CSZ, a Gentherm company, is committed to assuring that our equipment items function properly all the time, every time they are used. We are proud to be able to provide a high-quality preventive maintenance program to our therapeutic temperature management equipment users. Click here or call 1-800-989-7373 for more information on this program.