Maciel Hospital signs an agreement with the Faculty of Engineering for the maintenance of equipment

Maciel Hospital signs an agreement with the Faculty of Engineering for the maintenance of equipment

The Maciel Hospital Support Commission and the Julio Ricaldoni Foundation of the University’s Faculty of Engineering agreed to form and train a management and maintenance team for facilities and Biomedical Equipment (EBM).

The Ricaldoni Foundation reported that the Maciel Hospital has about 300 units of this equipment with an approximate value of 200 million pesos. Annually, these devices represent about 10 million pesos in maintenance costs. The Maciel Support Commission will hire students from the Faculty of Engineering, both under the modality of Clinical Engineering Residents and Biomedical Engineering Technicians. There will be the participation of professors, assistants or assistants from the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering, under the coordination of the Nucleus of Biomedical Engineering (NIB). The NIB is an academic structure of the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering of Udelar with experience in the project and development of biomedical equipment, of medical informatics systems, with special competence in EBM maintenance management.

For years, the NIB has been working with the National Resources Fund to improve the electrical safety of biomedical equipment and electrical installations of the Institutes of Highly Specialized Medicine that are financed by the fund. Among other elements, the scope of the agreement implies the installation of an information system that involves an inventory of the biomedical equipment of the Maciel Hospital to carry out an efficient management of the material. In this sense, an Equipment Maintenance Plan will be established.

Speaking, the representative of the Support Commission, Homero Bagnulo, stressed that this agreement “will save many lives,” since it will allow Maciel patients to receive “safer care.” In turn, he stressed that in hospitals it is basic to integrate knowledge, so they will receive the interns and residents of the faculty with “open arms.” “We hope that they join the hospital, that the contribution is very significant, that they continue working here and then go to other areas of health, generating a process of substantial improvement in benefits,” he said.

For her part, the dean of the Faculty of Engineering and president of the Ricaldoni Foundation, María Simon, stated that one of the main purposes is the creation of human resources in this specialty of biomedical engineering, since they are currently restricted. Regarding the objectives of the agreement, he mentioned that they are “ambitious but reasonable”, so “the great hope of the Faculty of Engineering is to continue growing and extend the scope of the agreement not only to the entire hospital, but also to ASSE”.

The director of the Maciel Hospital, Aníbal Dutra, insisted on the importance of caring for biomedical equipment: “It is fundamental in the diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of patients. Its proper functioning ensures to improve the overall quality of patient care », he concluded. The interim president of ASSE, Marcelo Sosa, celebrated the signing of this agreement since it will not only train engineering students, but also “will allow better care of public money, not to save it but to invest it better.” “Hopefully it’s the first of many,” he said.

Biomedical equipment (EBM) is a crucial element of health care. EBM quality management helps ensure that care is provided safely and effectively. EBM is understood as “all fixed or portable equipment whose purpose is the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and direct care of patients” and whose replacement cost exceeds US$2,500. The Maciel Hospital has more than 300 EBMs, with a current value of over US$5,000,000 ($200,000,000).

EBMs require calibration, maintenance, repair, user training, and removal from service; these are activities normally planned, coordinated, supervised, controlled and evaluated by engineers and carried out to a great extent by technicians. Hospital Maciel wishes to implement an adequate maintenance policy that includes inspection, preventive and corrective maintenance procedures.

In Uruguay there are few academic fields in which engineers oriented to EBM management are trained, in addition, there is no adequate profile for the management and maintenance needs of EBM that health services have. The main objective of the agreement between the Ricaldoni Foundation and the Maciel Hospital Support Commission (CAHM) is to develop the necessary skills in specialized human resources, to support and manage the EBM.

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