Ask HRC: Patient-Owned CPAP Machines

April 4, 2016 | Health System Risk Management


​A Healthcare Risk Control(HRC) member recently asked about best practices for the use of patient-owned continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. The member stated that their facility "has experienced more and more patients bringing in their own CPAP machines from home," but that the hospital's staff "does not put the patient on or off the machine, nor adjust any of the machine's settings."

HRC's guidance article Patient-Supplied Equipment addresses this issue and is based on our experience answering numerous inquiries from member hospitals asking whether it is appropriate to grant a patient's request to use his or her own CPAP unit while in the hospital. Typically, a technology manager for the healthcare facility has voiced concern about the safety and liability of allowing the use of an outside device. Patients and clinicians, conversely, have pointed out that a CPAP unit is often adjusted to the individual patient's needs; thus,...

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