Which Team Members Are Responsible for Equipment Care in LTC?

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In LTC, your top priority is ensuring all residents are getting quality care. But ongoing staffing shortages make it more difficult to manage all the moving parts of your facility’s operations.

One area that tends to get overlooked—yet is closely tied to the quality of patients’ health and well-being—is medical equipment. Often this has to do with not knowing who on your team is responsible for equipment maintenance, tracking, and upkeep.

In this blog post, we explore the various individuals within your LTC team who play a role in medical equipment, and how outsourcing to a trusted partner like SFI Medical Equipment Solutions can alleviate the burden.

1. Maintenance Managers

  • Responsibility: Maintenance managers oversee the upkeep of the facility, which includes addressing equipment malfunctions and coordinating repairs.
  • Challenges: A high volume of maintenance tasks can be overwhelming, leading to delays in addressing equipment issues. Most importantly, capital medical equipment is complex and requires specialized knowledge and technical skills in order to properly repair and service. Most maintenance staff are not trained in these areas.
  • Solution: Often the first call we get from facilities is from maintenance managers. They are quick to spot broken equipment or are the first people to be asked about replacement parts or accessories. At SFI Medical, we work as an extension of environmental services. We also offer training for time-consuming yet required areas like bed audits for submission to the Ministry of Health.

2. Environmental Services Team

  • Responsibility: Environmental services teams are tasked with maintaining cleanliness and order within the facility, including equipment sanitation.
  • Challenges: Balancing cleaning schedules and ensuring thorough maintenance can be overwhelming, especially with limited resources. Equipment maintenance is typically not part of the regular duties of environmental services due to the technical nature of equipment, the skills/expertise required for servicing, and the time needed.
  • Solution: Occasionally environmental services members will be involved in some equipment service, but this is not the norm. Instead, collaborating with an external expert like SFI Medical frees up their time so they can focus on their main responsibilities, streamlining equipment care and minimizing downtime.

3. Personal Support Workers (PSWs)

  • Responsibility: PSWs are dedicated to providing direct care to residents, making their role crucial in the daily operations of LTC facilities.
  • Challenges: Balancing caregiving responsibilities with equipment care can lead to time constraints and potential oversights. With PSWs stretched thin in terms of time and their patient-centric role, it is not realistic to rely on them for equipment care.
  • Solution: By entrusting equipment care to a reliable partner like SFI Medical, PSWs can concentrate on delivering personalized care without the added stress of equipment maintenance.

4. Directors of Care

  • Responsibility: Directors of care are responsible for the overall well-being of residents, including ensuring that equipment is in optimal condition to support their needs.
  • Challenges: Juggling administrative responsibilities and equipment care can be time-consuming and detract from strategic planning. Directors of care typically don’t handle equipment personally but instead try to find the right personnel with expertise and technical know-how to check and maintain equipment. However, it is in the purview of directors of care to ensure their facility is compliant with Ministry requirements – including equipment.
  • Solution: We work closely with directors of care and are often seen as their trusted partner for all things medical equipment. Frequently we will help them create staff training plans so that teams can better handle bed audits and other compliance concerns internally. Partnering with SFI Medical allows directors of care to prioritize resident health and well-being, confident that equipment care is in capable hands.

Where are the gaps in your facility?

Given the above roles, which team member in your facility is responsible for equipment care? Some questions to ask:

  • Do they have a formalized role in place pertaining to equipment, or is it ad hoc?
  • Are they adequately trained in the technical complexities of equipment types, brands, and models?
  • Do they know what to look for when performing a bed audit, repairing a tub, changing a bed motor?
  • Are they able to set aside the required time to maintain equipment in all rooms?
  • Do they know who to contact for repairs or issues? (Most manufacturers do not provide post-sale support.)
  • Are they familiar with the proper functioning of equipment?
  • Can they diagnose equipment issues for all brands, types, makes, and models?
  • Do they have time to keep current on the latest technologies in equipment?

Overall, outsourcing equipment service and maintenance should be seen as an investment in the seamless operation of your LTC facility – especially when teams are overburdened and facilities struggle with understaffing. With a commitment to professional excellence, cost efficiency, and unparalleled peace of mind, we at SFI Medical have the expertise, track record, and experience to handle all your capital equipment sales, service, and maintenance needs as well as training.

At SFI Medical Equipment Solutions, we’re dedicated to supporting healthcare facilities in providing the best possible care to their patients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you to keep your equipment in top-notch condition.

SFI Medical is proudly Canadian owned and operated and we serve long-term care facilities nationwide. If you’re ready to get started with preventative maintenance, contact our technical team to book a service call today.

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