This article originally appeared in the July 2012 edition of DOTmed Business News
Industry experts Doug Rabkin, president of Buck Eye Medical; John Gladstein, sales manager at Medical Device Depot Inc.; and Andrew Bonin, CEO of Pacific Medical LLC, dished out their tricks of the trade to help end users ensure their patient monitors (and savings) last longer.
- Always use the correct power supply.
Using an improper power source will damage the power supply and possibly other PCBs in the unit.
- Power off the monitors when not in use.
When a monitor is constantly running, it generates heat, which eventually can damage the components on the circuit boards of the monitor. Constant running can also cause “screen burn,” or a lasting image on the screen.
- Know when to replace.
One common issue is bad accessories, which can lead to shorts in pulse oximeters, EKG cables and old BP hoses.
But even top-of-the-line, brand new accessories regularly need to be replaced. BP cuffs and hoses are made of rubber and should be replaced at least once a year. EKG leads are also subject to wear. They are thin and delicate and over time, can cause faulty readings. These should be replaced every six months to a year.
A monitor should be calibrated at least once a year to insure proper blood pressure performance. If dealing with anesthesia monitors, end users must have a service company or facility on-hand to properly calibrate the gas analyzer. Calibration equipment is expensive and a lot of companies do not invest in this equipment.
- Purchase new and save in the long run.
If an end user does not have funds available to purchase a new gas analyzer, then it is wise to purchase one that is as new as possible. A used model costs around $4,500 and if the gas module goes out, a repair runs $2,500 – pushing the cost upward of $7,000. Keep in mind, a brand new one would cost $9,000 or $10,000.
- A Velcro strap may be the answer to damaged finger probes.
Finger probes for the pulse oximeter get banged around quite often, coming loose from the patient and hitting the gurney. Securing a Velcro strap on the finger probe may prevent this from occurring.