Medical Equipment Maintenance Programme Overview. (WHO Medical Device Technical Series)
(2011; 92 pages) [Chinese] [French] [Spanish]


Medical devices are assets that directly affect human lives. They are considerable investments and in many cases have high maintenance costs. It is important, therefore, to have a well planned and managed maintenance programme that is able to keep the medical equipment in a health-care institution reliable, safe and available for use when it is needed for diagnostic procedures, therapy, treatments and monitoring of patients. In addition, such a programme prolongs the useful life of the equipment and minimizes the cost of equipment ownership.

A maintenance strategy includes procedures for inspection, as well as preventive and corrective maintenance. Performance inspections ensure that equipment is operating correctly, safety inspections ensure the equipment is safe for both patients and operators, and preventive maintenance (PM) aims to extend the life of the equipment and reduce failure rates. Additionally, some hidden problems may be discovered during a scheduled inspection. However, performing inspections of equipment only ensures that the device is in good operating condition at the time of inspection and cannot eliminate the possibility of failure during future use; the nature of most electrical and mechanical components is that they can potentially fail at any time. Corrective maintenance (CM) restores the function of a failed device and allows it to be put back into service.

An effective medical equipment maintenance programme consists of adequate planning, management and implementation. Planning considers the financial, physical and human resources required to adequately implement the maintenance activities. Once the programme has been defined, financial, personnel and operational aspects are continually examined and managed to ensure the programme continues uninterrupted and improves as necessary. Ultimately, proper implementation of the programme is key to ensuring optimal equipment functionality.

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