Checking Patient’s Equipment from Home for Safety

The use of a patient’s own medical equipment and devices in the inpatient setting may be necessary when these items are not available or obtaining them in a timely manner is not feasible to support their care.  These may include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices for sleep apnea, implanted sleep apnea devices, and insulin pumps.  Additionally, patients may bring in personal care electrical devices for use that may include curling irons, radios, hair dryers, etc.  These devices and their use may constitute a risk to safety to the patient and others if they are not assessed for safe use.  Does your organization have a policy that guides staff on ensuring safety with personal electrical equipment brought in by patients?

You may consider having a policy/procedure in place that guides staff in verifying safe use.  This may include:

  • An electrical safety compliance check by an authorized service technician from your biomedical department or another authorized department to ensure the device is safe to use.

For Medical Equipment:

  • There is a physician order that authorizes use of the device and documentation for justification of use.
  • There is validation that the patient is competent to use the device and this validation is documented.
  • Staff have access to the Manufacturer’s Instructions for Use for reference and to ensure proper cleaning/disinfecting.

Additionally, you may consider having the patient sign a waiver of liability in the event their medical device malfunctions.  You should seek guidance from your legal counsel for this consideration.

And remember, if staff are expected to assist the patient or use the equipment without the patient’s assistance, they must be trained and competent in its use.

Courtemanche & Associates specializes in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Services. With over 29 years of being in business and 100+ years of healthcare experience amongst our consulting team, we are ready to assist with your accreditation and regulatory compliance needs.

Please contact Courtemanche and Associates for questions at  704-573-4535 or info@courtemanche-assocs.com.

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