Technology’s role in advancing healthcare is undeniable. From fully equipped mobile workstations and automatic medication dispensing to cloud-connected provider/patient communications, hospitals, and long-term care facilities rely on more high-tech tools to deliver exceptional patient care than ever before. To ensure facilities stay on top of the latest advancements while focusing on safe and effective outcomes, Biomedical Engineers are tasked with balancing important development projects with the constant need for maintenance and troubleshooting. This demand for expert oversight of all devices and related technology stands to increase. Standardization, the reliance on a single vendor, is an effective way to keep up while reducing costs, improving operational efficiency, enhancing patient safety, and using data-driven insights. Partnering with one single technology vendor to source new equipment, software, support, upgrades, and related consultative services will go a long way in keeping all staff productive.
Streamlined procurement of all equipment from one supplier simplifies the buying process in several ways. Using one trusted company reduces time spent vetting new vendors and allows hospitals to use economies of scale for greater cost savings and better inventory management. By adopting established standards, engineers can take advantage of existing designs, components, and technologies, reducing the need for custom development. Biomedical Engineers who work with one consistent technology provider spend less time researching interoperability because all products from their chosen provider follow standardized protocols and consistent interfaces designed to seamlessly integrate and share data with each other. All of this provides the flexibility growing organizations need to scale up and expand with less preparation and downtime.
With rigorous use in healthcare settings, even the highest quality products will need routine maintenance and occasional repairs. Still, essential equipment must be kept running and care teams should not be diverted from patient interactions to deal with technical difficulties. A standardized approach to procurement gives biomedical engineers the added resources needed to create and execute preventative maintenance schedules that apply to their entire equipment fleet, preventing problems and quickly resolving issues that do arise. Working with a trusted vendor in this way is also a great way to establish an inventory of authorized spare parts, increase staff knowledge of hardware/software and gain direct access to technicians trained on installed makes and models. Because of their familiarity with standardized equipment, these same technicians may then pass along valuable knowledge to internal staff on how to quickly identify and resolve common problems.
Finally, standardization facilitates better collaboration, communication, and data collection in healthcare facilities. By using common language, data formats, and reporting structures, professionals will more easily exchange information, share findings, and collaborate on research projects or clinical trials. Reliable and consistent data gathering across all devices is key for researching and analyzing performance for quality improvement initiatives. Standardizing equipment and accompanying software allows facilities to collect this valuable information in a uniform way, enabling accurate benchmarking against industry standards. For hospitals truly dedicated to providing the best patient experiences, there is no better way to quantify what is working and what isn’t. With this information in hand, improvement goals become clear and resource allocations can be better optimized.
The benefits that come from standardization will extend to your entire staff and the patients you serve. By choosing TPM as your dedicated technology partner, you gain everything needed to be more responsive to the clinical team, increase overall productivity and boost the impact on great quality care. TouchPoint Medical offers everything necessary to standardize technology in a variety of healthcare settings. All TouchPoint Medical and ICW products are designed to work together and integrate with most OEM device manufacturers and IT equipment. Our knowledgeable staff and trained technicians are here to help with the selection, procurement, maintenance, and support of equipment designed to keep staff focused on patients above everything else.