Standards For Standards

The suggestions stated here are based on an AAMI journal article (PDF file), Volume 40, Issue 4 (July-August 2006). It makes a case for a uniform standards presentation, including the relationships of standards to CE functions.
Copyright, January, 2007.


I believe that a system of non-standard compliance data sampling, and a complementary non-standard methodology for displaying policy and standards development, results in limited oversight effectiveness, and a limited understanding of the oversight methodology.

If clinical engineering service providers are to be held to strict adherence for compliance accountability, then those participating in policy development should utilize a transparent reference format in developing those policies. This proposed format would standardize the presentation of clinical engineering functions and policies for regulatory and professional organizations, and in-house and third party clinical engineering service providers.


1. Create a display format to summarize Environment of Care and equipment management standards that are current as well as those in development. The display format will show:
a) JCAHO standards that directly relate to clinical engineering;
b) clinical engineering medical equipment service and management functions;
c) the relationships of these functions to standards, including how altering one standard can impact functions, and how altering a function can impact standards development.

2. Develop a strategy to standardize the collection and presentation of medical equipment inventory and maintenance compliance data that is used for monitoring and quality assessment purposes of healthcare organizations.

Goals are to enable the following:

1) a more transparent view of standards development and review procedures;

2) increased understanding of clinical engineering functions and their interrelationships;

3) improved monitoring of the operational status of clinical engineering service providers, (e.g. maintenance compliance, inventory and service records);

4) a more regular and orderly review of operational procedures and policies by regulatory agencies;

5) more accessible information within the network of hospitals and oversight organizations;

6) increased relevancy of operational procedures to policies, and increased participation in policy and standards development by clinical engineering service providers.

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