Optimizing an IPM Program

April 4, 2013 | Health System Risk Management


As healthcare facilities face increasing fiscal constraints, more complex technology, and evolving requirements of such groups as the Joint Commission, the quality of an inspection and preventive maintenance (IPM) program—which should help address these issues, not add to the burden—becomes even more important. Optimal implementation of an equipment support program will vary depending on individual circumstances. What works at one facility may not be practical at another facility. The guidance and procedures must be used and modified as appropriate to ensure the quality of individual programs and the care provided to each facility’s patients.

IPM is only one component of an integrated, comprehensive, effective equipment support program. Alone, IPM tasks have a limited impact on the quality of patient care; when implemented with the two other major components—walk-through inspections (area “rounds” or “sweeps”) and user education (including training in performance verification and maintenance tasks)—they can have a significant impact. While IPM, walk-through inspections, and user education programs can be developed separately, coordinated planning, including identification of significant problems and consideration of possible solutions, will help to ensure that they are developed and applied most effectively as part of an overall equipment support program.

_______________ * Most of this article is derived from ECRI Institute's Biomedical Benchmark™ technology support system. For more information on the program, contact ECRI Institute at communications2@ecri.org. ...

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