How important is quality when it comes to moveable medical equipment (MME), specialty beds and other rental equipment? A new bill entitled “Ensuring Patient Safety through Accountable Medical Device Servicing,” (H.R. 2118) was introduced in Congress in early 2017. The bill is intended to ensure that all entities that service and supply medical devices to health care organizations have appropriate federal oversight and are held to consistent quality, safety and regulatory requirements.
The mere existence of this bill confirms that the quality of rental equipment in hospitals is an issue worth monitoring — and it draws attention to the fact that improperly serviced equipment can pose a significant patient safety risk. Although many assume that those patient incidents are few and far between, reports show that during a four-year period the FDA received 56,000 reports* of adverse events associated with infusion pumps alone. From a hospital perspective, it is imperative to take steps to reduce that risk by ensuring that any rental equipment is maintained according to the same stringent quality standards applied to OEMs. Few MME and bed rental providers voluntarily adhere to these standards, so it’s critical to monitor the level of quality being introduced to your hospital.