RMH clinical engineering approach to maintenance

Medical equipment maintenance

RMH Clinical Engineering Department (CED) at Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), one of Victoria’s leading clinical and teaching hospitals, is trusted with ensuring that all equipment located at its two city campuses, plus dispersed satellite clinics and aged care facilities, is maintained, tested and in a reliable working condition at all times.

The CED has an inventory of over 10,000 individual assets spread across dispersed facilities, including everything from residual current devices protecting electric power outlets, through to patient monitoring systems in critical care environments.

In search of automation

According to Nicola Donaldson, CED’s deputy and quality manager, one of the biggest challenges it faces in managing clinical equipment in its facilities is to be more efficient in how they manage maintenance and compliance.

Our previous system was unable to support department objectives to increase automation of work orders for scheduled maintenance and to eliminate legacy paper-based systems,” Donaldson says. “We wanted to be able to easily generate and manage planned preventative maintenance work orders, as well as allowing our customers to easily raise job requests when unscheduled incidents lead to the need for repairs.

Deficiencies in the old system had started to create unacceptable risks for RMH in governance, regulatory compliance and cost-efficiency.

Our priority had often been to repair equipment and then to worry about the paperwork afterwards,” Donaldson says. “As a result, non-critical equipment risked being left inactive for lack of identifiable prioritisation of work orders.

The management of maintenance schedules, warranty conditions and regulatory compliance of plant and equipment is an area of operations where all facilities management teams can continually find productivity improvements.

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