Why You Should Have a Biomedical Technician on Speed Dial
Biomedical technicians carry out a range of critical roles for healthcare organizations including installation, inspection, and repair of medical equipment, as well as modification, design, and calibration of these devices.
In some settings, they are also responsible for educating, training, and advising staff from small urgent cares to large healthcare systems on the proper operation, principles, and clinical application of medical equipment of all types.
Considering their importance to maintaining a high quality of patient care in healthcare organizations, it makes sense for every organization to have at least one biomedical technician on their payroll, or be able to access the services of one on a reliable biomed technician marketplace.
Here, we explain what organizations should look for in reliable biomedical technicians, and why it is critical to have one sitting in the next office or immediately available on speed dial.
Why do you need a biomedical technician in your back pocket?
Biomedical technicians, otherwise called biomedical equipment technicians (BEMTs), have a very specific skillset. They are specially trained and certified in the installation, maintenance, and repair of biological systems and health products. These include prostheses, artificial organs, instrumentation, care delivery systems, health management systems, medical information systems, and more.
The work they do is critical to the proper functioning of these systems and products, and therefore important to keeping patient care quality and satisfaction levels up. The best healthcare providers understand the importance of BEMTs, which is why they ensure at least one qualified individual is on staff.
You may wonder why your organization should spend the time and effort to secure the services of a biomedical technician when your equipment is still new and in good shape. However, reasoning this way can be a mistake.
Today, medical devices are more complicated than ever. Many require complex or delicate operating conditions and will need constant oversight to ensure they continue working in good shape. And with the exponential increase in the number of medical devices per patient/per room, there’s even less scope to get things wrong.
While the average number of medical devices per bed in 1997 was just 5, that number has ballooned to more than 13 today. Overall, the average biomedical technician is now responsible for more than 1,200 devices, and this number will only continue to increase as medical device innovation accelerates.
Organizations must stay prepared in the event that a problem arises with any of their equipment. Even more important, they must carry out regular comprehensive inspections to ensure that equipment is functioning well and can keep up with the organization’s patient load.
Your busiest day could be the day critical equipment breaks down, leading to loss of patient care and significant damage to your reputation. Therefore, it is critical to always have a biomedical technician on speed dial.
What should you look for in a certified biomedical technician?
Due to the specialized nature of their work, BEMTs must be properly trained and licensed. In addition, they are required to install, inspect, and repair medical equipment in line with standards laid down by major US regulatory institutions. These include the:
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Fire Protection Agency, especially regulations NFPA 99 and 70
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Code of Federal Regulations 21
- Joint Commission standards
A qualified BEMT will typically start their training with a 2-year associate degree at an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited institution. The accreditation may also be carried out by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Instead of a first-degree qualification at an accredited institution, some BEMTs begin their training in a one-year full-time military program.
In addition to an associate degree, skilled and qualified BEMTs are also often licensed with the relevant certification institutions. The primary certification for BEMTs is the International Certification Commission license which enables a biomed technician to be qualified as a certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET). Other certifications they may obtain include qualification as:
- Certified Healthcare Technology Manager
- Certified Nephrology Equipment Specialist
- Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist
- Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist
- Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician
- Certified Biomedical Author
In addition to these qualifications, a reliable BEMT should be able to display a track record of successful medical device deployments and operations experience. However, finding BEMTs with the appropriate qualification and experience can be difficult.
The challenge of finding inexpensive and reliable biomedical technicians
Due to a slowdown in the number of BEMTs obtaining qualifications and becoming licensed, there is an increasing shortage in qualified individuals. As a result of this shortage, it can be harder to hire these individuals as permanent staff. In addition to this, hiring an in-house BEMT may be beyond the reach of smaller healthcare providers such as urgent cares and smaller health systems.
In this situation, it can be incredibly valuable for providers to keep in close touch with BEMTs who can come in, do a job for them, and remain available while not taking up space as a member of staff. A BEMT marketplace can provide a quick and easy way to reach qualified technicians, even within short notice.
Some of the advantages of using a biomedical technician marketplace such as UptimeHealth here include:
- Inspection by qualified individuals: BEMT marketplaces provide a reliable roll of highly qualified technicians who can conduct comprehensive and initial equipment inspections. This helps ensure that equipment is in good shape and everything is ticking over well.
- Proactive recalibration and repair: With regular inspection available at a moment’s notice, healthcare organizations can better identify and resolve potential issues with their equipment before they become problematic.
- Avoid breakdown of equipment: The readily-available services accessible on a BEMT marketplace mean organizations are able to quickly call in help when problems are spotted. The gains in productivity, patient care times, and reputation in this regard are often invaluable.
- Access pricing transparency: While organizations can adopt a “one-off” approach to finding and hiring BEMTs, this may not be cost-effective in the long run. With a steady BEMT provider, such as UptimeHealth, organizations can enjoy pricing transparency and potentially better pricing arrangements in the long run.
- Accountability for intervention: BEMT marketplaces are in the business of creating a reliable platform where organizations can access high-quality services. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will be obtaining nothing but the best service, complete with guarantees in the unlikely event that problems occur.
Overall, a BEMT marketplace can significantly reduce the stress and challenge of finding qualified BEMTs, and UptimeHealth is here to help you get started.
Get reliable biomed equipment service, right when you need it
UptimeHealth provides a carefully-curated and reliable roll of experienced BEMTs who can handle the needs of healthcare organizations of all sizes. All technicians on the platform are vetted before they are able to join the marketplace. In addition, organizations can easily see if the technician is qualified, and what certifications and experience they possess. Here are some of the benefits of using Uptime Health:
- Simplified payment process
- Matching of technicians by location for swift and always-available service. If there is no technician in your area, UptimeHealth will find one for you
- Inspections and repairs are all documented through UptimeHealth and reports can be pulled at any time
- Accreditation surveyors can see the reporting and how staff handled the equipment repair by contacting a technician and requesting a loaner if needed
- Equipment breakdown/repair rates are recorded by UptimeHealth to provide a dashboard of information on which equipment is most reliable for future purchases
- If you manage or own multiple care centers, you can monitor the equipment repair and downtime at each location all from UptimeHealth
Give us a call today, or visit our BEMT marketplace, to obtain the first-rate equipment service you require.