The best practices in managing technology for your practices need to be highlighted because technology is the boon and the bane of the 21st century. Good technology is the foundation on which quality healthcare is delivered to patients today. With the recent advances in technology, physicians have to reengineer the way they function their clinics. Just about all healthcare services today rely on a number of technological facilities and medical equipment. Management of the various apps on your desktop, high end imaging cameras and various other medical paraphernalia is not an easy process; if not handled well it can lead to an instant collapse of the entire healthcare delivery process that you have so meticulously and painstakingly setup.

Importance of Tech Managment

Whether it is a hospital or a clinic, clear policies, technical help, timely support and updated tools help in management of healthcare technology necessary for smooth everyday operations. Healthcare administrators must make the right changes in healthcare delivery systems by implementing the latest technologies to help improve medical and administrative services at a setup.

Acquisition, installation and maintenance of technology not only requires capital investment, but also needs careful planning and understanding of the technology. A fine balance has to be maintained as regards expenditures in procuring high quality equipment and preventing any recurring costs and expenditure due mishandling. Once set up, management and maintenance of these equipment is equally important and can be a pinch to the pocket if fixing is required too often. Often medical setups are poorly handled by undertrained staff. To be able to make the most out of the investment, systematic management of technology is a must.

Key points in healthcare technology management are:

  1. Careful assessment and selection of technology
  2. Correct and optimum usage of medical technology
  3. Regular maintenance

Here are easy practices which should be adopted for optimal maintenance of technology at a healthcare facility including medical equipment, machines, medical software and integrated medical systems.

Planning and Budgeting

Planning and budgeting are very important prior to purchasing any type of equipment either for medical or administrative purposes. As all latest equipment requires a lot of capital investment, it is important to assess the genuine need, quality and cost of the equipment. Today patients prefer doing their appointment booking, bill payment and query resolution online. So medical software and a website which will help ease your practice should be chosen and designed wisely. You may get a customized software or website to cater to your practice’s specific needs to provide better patient services.

Inspection

Once equipment is selected, inspection regarding the safety and working of the devices has to be performed. It has to be seen that it follows all the standards of quality and all safety regulations are followed in everyday usage.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance and checking for optimum functioning of devices is equally important. All medical equipment should be tested for quality standards periodically. All the computers and softwares should also be checked for any viruses and antivirus scans should be done regularly. Hacking of your websites should be averted and attended to. These will ensure unexpected breakdowns and stand-ups for your patients.

Inventory Management

A complete inventory should be maintained for all equipment right from high end medical devices to computers and software. A complete record of date of purchase, cost, supplier name, serial number any code or bar code of device should be noted carefully.

Training

All medical technicians and personnel should get thorough training in handling all equipment. They should also be taught about the maintenance and safety regulations.A strict vigil should be kept for any adverse incidents and should be reported immediately to the supplier or IT team.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry is constantly seeing new technical innovations which are able to provide higher standards of care. These innovations can be put to task for your patients only by better management and timely upgradation.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD

REFERENCES

David Y,Jahnke E. Medical technology management: from planning to application. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005;1:186-9.