TECHNICAL BULLETIN: Restoration of bio-medical equipment

Electro-Mechanical Recertifiers, LLC. uses the general electronics restoration knowledge set along with specialty biomedical technician skills to restore complicated medical equipment to both the manufacturer’s standards and industry guidelines.  The standards for recovery of biomedical equipment must be adhered to for patient safety and functionality of the bio medical equipment. 

Machinery requiring restoration also needs a vast array of specialists on the team who perform work functions on them to ensure its proper recovery. Inside the technical area are electrical journeyman, mechanical specialists, piping experts, machinery mechanics, laser leveling and plumbing trades as well as millwrights, machinists, electronics technicians, insulators, fitters/welders riggers, crane operators and electro-mechanical restoration specialists involved in the recovery of various many equipment types.

At various intervals our work requires different electro-mechanical qualified tradesman. Equipment requires precise laser leveling, vibration analysis, and decibel level measuring, adjustments and fine tuning as well as work area lighting reports, PLC programming, IT repair techs, process monitoring, third party motor and power testing.  Both the mechanical and electronics restoration skill sets are highly needed specialty areas of technical restoration common in most equipment types. Most of today’s equipment types are electronic in their control systems (some simple and others have complex controls) such as push bottom operational, relay logic control panels and others are PLC’s used to  automatically control the electronic sequence of the equipment’s various operations.

Just as there are specialists in all areas of restoration there are specialists with equipment and machinery. Another very specialized subset of technicians includes the recovery of medical devices and use of trained and certified bio-medical technicians. The complicated medical equipment with its various controls are designed to be patient interactive and either sustain life or assist in various medical procedures. Though electronics restoration technicians may assist with this equipment, bio-medical technicians are the standard requirement to service and recover the healthcare industry’s patient interactive equipment. Our professional staff of technicians includes restoration technicians skilled in electronics and equipment to work at certain levels of bio-medical equipment. Specialized equipment should only be trusted to those trained bio-medical technicians that specialize in hospital grade medical equipment.

Work in the biomedical/clinical engineering field is its own specialists and also covers a vast array of different fields and devices. Including Radiographic and flouroscopic x-ray, Diagnostic ultrasound, LASERs, Mammography, Telemedicine, Film image processing, Nuclear Medicine, Gamma cameras, Positron emission tomography (PET), Medical imaging, Computed Tomography (CT), Electron microscope, Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging instrument (MRI scanner), Physiological monitoring, Sterilization, Dental, Optometry, Surgical, Anesthesia, Laboratory, Dialysis, Respiratory Services (ventilators) Computer Networking Systems integration, Information Technology, Patient Monitoring, and Cardiac Diagnostics

Specialists working on sensitive medical devices also have an understanding of biological processes, disinfection, sanitization and electronics and are credentialed to service certain types of equipment. Untrained general restoration personnel should never work on patient interactive equipment. Electronics and electro-mechanical restoration specialists understand that working with the lead biotech is important and necessary to the equipment type and ultimate patient safety. In the course of a normal day bio med techs analyze and repair bio-medical equipment problems and provide routine maintenance using fundamental concepts and tools. Trained professional can calibrate biomedical instrumentation systems – medical instrumentation, and includes medical diagnostic instruments.

The restoration of hospital and clinical grade health care equipment requires extensive knowledge of medical and insurance issues including education, experience, understanding and training on specific equipment types and processes involved in the servicing of medical clinic and hospital grade equipment.

These technicians analyze and repair bio-medical equipment problems and provide routine maintenance using fundamental concepts and tools. Trained professionals can calibrate biomedical instrumentation systems including medical diagnostic instruments. It is necessary to perform testing for proper power and electrical current for bonding and grounding requirements to confirm compliance. The risk of contact with electrical, mechanical, high pressure steam, noise, blood borne diseases, LASERs, chemicals and nuclear contaminates is real and proper training must be followed to isolate all energy types. Bio-medical test equipment requires that modality specific, calibrated test equipment is employed and that the testing equipment has been calibrated so that it is assured to meet tolerances and function. The parameters need to conform to acceptable ranges as specified by both manufacturers and The Joint Commission. Neglecting to test and calibrate equipment after a device has come in contact with some airborne materials and/or other solutions (such as water, cleaners) may pose serious life, health and safety risks to patients. Some medical devices are so sensitive they must be calibrated after just being moved or jostled.

Many times valuable medical devices can be restored and repaired for re-use. Fast action is requried to remove power supplies and energy sources that may damage sensitive equipment, mitigate climatic changes and outside inhibitors and contamination such as water, dust, soot or foreign objects in or on a system is vital to the recovery and operation of medical equipment. Medical equipment should only be serviced by properly trained bio med techs using correct tools, testing and recertification methods for medical equipment prior to being put back into use or re-commissioning. Knowledge of medical and healthcare facilities, equipment and use of BMET’s for medical and clinical equipment is necessary to the proper recovery of these specialty electronics after restoration back to pre-loss and prime operating condition.

This article was co-authored by Mark Schafer, Senior Consultant and Project Manager of Electro-mechanical Recertifiers, Inc.; equipment consultants, electronics restoration and equipment recovery experts and by Joshua Leasure Director, Business Development of Comprehensive Equipment Management Corporation; medical equipment testing specialists.

You may reach Electro-Mechanical Recertifiers, LLC. at 877-378-4183 or directly by email at info@er-emergency.com anytime for technical assistance with recovery of biomedical, medical laboratory and pharmaceutical equipment.