Quality Matters! How to Define a Quality Service Provider

When it comes to patient care, without question, quality matters. The same should be said of the medical devices supporting patient care...

Wed Oct 12 2016By Kaylee McCaffrey




Quality Matters!  How to Define a Quality Service Provider 


When it comes to patient care, without question, quality matters. The same should be said of the medical devices supporting patient care; however, an increased emphasis on budget, variations in access to resources and capabilities, along with a lack of government regulation, have made it increasingly more challenging to determine what defines a quality repair and who can be trusted to provide such a service. The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is considered to be the gold standard for repair quality. Repairs performed on a medical device should use the OEM as a benchmark; this however, is far from the norm. By understanding what constitutes a quality repair, a health care provider’s goal should be to save both time and money without sacrificing or hindering patient care or patient outcome.


The FDA states that all medical devices must be both safe and effective. (1)  A safe quality repair should not mask existing damage to a medical device or repair a device in such a way that creates hazardous usage conditions.   An effective repair is one that restores the intended functionality to a product without hindering its performance or altering form, fit or function of the device. Having the necessary resources and capabilities to perform repairs that optimize safety and effectiveness is imperative to providing quality service.


Building upon these core principles, according to the Institute of medicine, quality care can be broken down into six components: “safety, effectiveness, patient centered, timely, efficient and equitable.” (2)  These core philosophies of quality health care can also be applied to medical devices and the servicing of medical devices.  The remaining components of a quality repair should fall into place if safety and effectiveness are maintained throughout the entirety of a repair process.


All medical device repairs should be patient centered. As is often the case, with medical device repair there is a trade-off between quality and price, with high-quality work tending to be more expensive in the short term. While factors such as time and money cannot be ignored, the patient’s well being should be the top priority. 


In order to minimize costly downtime, a quality repair should be conducted in as timely a manner as possible without sacrificing the other components of quality. Minimizing turnaround time should not be done at the expense of safety or effectiveness. Repair service providers with the capabilities to do so may offer a loaner while a product is being repaired. This helps to reduce downtime for the health care provider while also giving the repair provider adequate time to properly service the damaged equipment. 


 A high-quality repair should also be efficient, aiming to “get it right the first time.” Latent failures lead to additional costly downtime that could have been avoided. A quality repair service provider will address the immediate issues, as well as inspect the entire product in order to identify and eliminate additional failures that would present themselves in the near future. 


The last component of a quality repair is equitability. This refers to the idea that regardless of who is providing the repair, all parties should operate using similar standards, rules and guidelines. 


  Understanding the capabilities that a third-party option possesses is the first step in seeking a quality repair service provider.  By taking the time to fully understand the capabilities of a service provider and investing in high quality repair work you can reduce the need for future repairs while also providing a safer environment for your patients and staff.  This can be helpful in avoiding potential lawsuits that will not only cost you money, but also diminish your reputation as a quality health care provider.


Identifying a quality repair service provider can prove to be challenging given the growing number of options. The most important thing that you can do in determining if a service provider is able to perform the work that meets the quality standards that your hospital aims to achieve is to ask questions. It is important to gain as much of an understanding as possible regarding a repair provider’s experience, capabilities, certifications and resources. 


Bayer MVS has established a guide that should be used by anyone looking for a quality service and solutions provider.  If you are interested in receiving a free copy of this guide please complete the form below and Bayer will send you your copy. 


(1) Device Approvals, Denials and Clearances." US Food & Drug Administration. N.p., 07 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.

(2) Institute of Medicine (IOM). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press; 2001



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