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A Maintenance Model for Clinical Engineering

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1 Author(s)
Johnston, George I. ; Department of Clinical Engineering, Oregon Health Sciences University

The numbers presented here for an equipment maintenance model are derived from a mix of soft data and intuition based on experience. They relate best to university hospitals in the 250-400-bed range. They relate better to numbers of devices than number of beds. In summary, they are: 1. Ideal technician workload = 400 to 550 devices. 2. Average technician productivity or ``hands-on'' maintenance time = 75%. 3. Average dollar value per device = $2,000. 4. Annual in-house maintenance ratio = 5% to 7% of value plus parts in excess of $200/item. 5. Effective rate per hour = $35 to $45/hr (depending upon region and labor costs in that region). 6. In-house maintenance costs should be less than outside costs. However, the in-house department should be aware of cost-effective outside options and employ them as appropriate. 7. Appropriate resources. 250 sq ft/technician, $20,000 capital equipment/technician, and $15 to $25/device in supplies. 8. Clinical engineers. One engineer to start the service and one engineer for each three additional technicians added. 9. Clerical support. One clerical FTE for a minimum 3 technician department, and one additional clerical FTE for each additional 1.5 FTE clinical engineers or each additional 5 FTE technicians. 10. Annual maintenance = 2.5 hr/device. (When clinical devices are distinguished from nonclinical devices, averages are 3 hr/clinical device and 2 hr/nonclinical device.) As clinical engineers, BMETs, and their departments gather experience to support or modify these numbers, I encourage them to share their findings in an experience pool available to all.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )