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A Study of Current Maintenance Strategies and the Reliability of Critical Medical Equipment in Hospitals in Relation to Patient Outcomes

Authors: Khelood A. Mkalaf, Peter Gibson, John Flanagan


This study investigates the relationship between the reliability of critical medical equipment (CME) and the effectiveness of CME maintenance management strategies in relation to patient outcomes in 84 public hospitals of a top 20 OECD country. The work has examined the effectiveness of CME maintenance management strategies used by the public hospital system of a large state run health organization. The conceptual framework was designed to examine the significance of the relationship between six variables: (1) types of maintenance management strategies, (2) maintenance services, (3) maintenance practice, (4) medical equipment reliability, (5) maintenance costs and (6) patient outcomes. The results provide interesting insights into the effectiveness of the maintenance strategies used. For example, there appears to be about a 1 in 10 000 probability of failure of anesthesia equipment, but these seem to be confined to specific maintenance situations. There are also some findings in relation to outsourcing of maintenance. For each of the variables listed, results are reported in relation to the various types of maintenance strategies and services. Decision-makers may use these results to evaluate more effective maintenance strategies for their CME and generate more effective patient outcomes.

Keywords: Critical medical equipment, maintenance strategy, patient outcomes, reliability.

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