Weekly tip: Understand equipment maintenance requirements
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April 12, 2012
On December 2, 2011, CMS released a statement clarifying hospital equipment maintenance requirements. Section 482.41(c)(2) of the Federal Register requires healthcare facilities to maintain and ensure an acceptable level of quality and safety, and document maintenance activities.
The CMS memorandum, effective immediately, addressed the following two issues regarding maintenance schedules and methods:
- The manufacturer-recommended maintenance frequency is required for:
- All equipment that is critical to patient health and safety
- Any new equipment until a sufficient amount of maintenance history has been acquired
- Hospitals must continue to follow the manufacturer's recommended techniques for maintaining equipment, even if they alter the frequency of that maintenance
"Equipment that is critical to patient health and safety is not a candidate for an alternative, less frequent maintenance activity schedule," the memo reads. "Such equipment must be maintained at least as often as the manufacturer recommends."
Noncritical equipment maintenance frequencies can be adjusted below the recommendations of the manufacturer as long as this decision is based on a documented, strategic, evidence-based assessment conducted by qualified personnel, such as clinical or biomedical technicians or engineers.