A personal incident

[July 21, 2010 NOTE: this was written years ago concerning an incident that happened years ago. I certainly hope things like this are now less likely to occur. I must say, it left a mark on me.] My first encounter with a major safety issue involved lessons that were hard learned. The following incident occurred . . . → Read More: A personal incident

My most unusual hospital experience

Copyright, June, 2010

1994 – For the Senior VP, the group was exactly what she’d hoped for – cost savings implemented by the participants, not her. For many of the participants, it may have been the opportunity to directly manage change during an uncomfortable period – feeling empowered. For me, at first, it was . . . → Read More: My most unusual hospital experience

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 . . . → Read More: Standards For Standards

Risk and Balance

The “promise” of danger and salvation in risk assessment. Copyright, 2004.

The fundamentals of medial device risk reduction are local observation (interval based and corrective maintenance, testing labs), technical and administrative assessment, and information feedback networks (including monitoring, problem notification, product recalls). We have the opportunity to reduce risk when someone (technician, patient, clinician) – . . . → Read More: Risk and Balance

Hide & Shriek, games with surveys

Be honest: does honesty pay during a survey? Defining an adversarial position. Copyright, July, 2003.

Questions concerning ethics and morality produce volumes of writing – what is interesting in regards to hospital surveys is that for the Clinical Engineering department, just answering the question can pose real risks. Here’s what I mean.

BME may be . . . → Read More: Hide & Shriek, games with surveys

Notification Responsibility Accountability

Who’s responsible? The clinician? The technician? The administrator? The manufacturer? JCAHO? The Fed.? The State? The sticker? Copyright, July 2003.

In practice, a large percentage of medical equipment in a hospital is not inspected on a regularly scheduled basis – not that the general public would assume that this is the case. The same lack . . . → Read More: Notification Responsibility Accountability

“Our accomplishments are what you don’t see”

Safety and Accountability. Medical errors may account for between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths per year in the U.S.. How do equipment failures contribute to this statistic? Safety and Accountability: who knows what? Copyright, June, 2003.

Our Accomplishments In Clinical Engineering, the over-riding issues in selling a system approach to problem analysis is–how one establishes the . . . → Read More: “Our accomplishments are what you don’t see”

Aneroid Manometers

Are they accurate? Do they last forever? What maintenance is necessary? Excerpts from AAMI, AHA, NIH, plus commentary. Copyright, 6/1/03.

Cited Quotes

“The aneroid manometer is also widely used and can provide accurate measurements if properly calibrated. However, because of its construction, it is prone . . . → Read More: Aneroid Manometers

Environmental Rounds

Addressing many ills with one pill. Aneroids, suction regulators, oto/ophthalmoscopes, nurse call, draped power cords: one for all, and all for one. Copyright, May, 2003.

Many forces were at play when the fast-paced discussion broke out at the Environment of Care (EOC) meeting. How were wall mounted oral suction regulators going to be maintained? Was . . . → Read More: Environmental Rounds

Compliance Standard Proposal

This proposal has mutated – see update. September, 2005.

The Compliance Standard Proposal is an ongoing project. The purpose is to encourage JCAHO to set a standard for how the required compliance percent is calculated. Currently, JCAHO is opposed to setting a standard for calculation because, in their words, “Since the healthcare organizations we accredit . . . → Read More: Compliance Standard Proposal