PCD MEM 2012-07-18 Webex

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Patient Care Device Domain - Medical Equipment Management Working Group

Meeting Information

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm

Duration: 60 minutes


Chair: Axel Wirth
Luis Melendez, Partners
Cecil Reams, Indian Health Service
Ken Maddock, Baylor Health
Manny Furst, IHE
John Rhoads, Philips Healthcare (notetaker)


Discussion of challenges of joining together functionality from IT and Clinical Engineering equipment management databases

IT databases more automated, readily gather information about IT equipment but typically lack depth of information required for medical equipment and may not be easily extended for it

Some CMMS systems offer separate modules for CE and IT, with selective DB views crossing the CE-IT boundary

Much interest in unifying but existing legacy systems may have a particular strength (e.g. "Heat" system strong on dispatching) but be weak elsewhere

Other challenges:

  • Many problems around patch and version upgrade management
  • Change management where one system affects another, for example, patient monitor and electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Thorough checking of software version compatibility across systems with multiple interacting subsystems, or "systems of systems" with independently managed components potentially from different vendors
  • Importance of revision testing in-house before deploying.
  • Importance of suppressing unwanted patch installation by mass computer upgrades by IT: there needs to be a "safe medical zone" protected from this happening since such upgrades can cause life-critical systems to malfunction
  • What can be done in smaller institutions with lesser capability for control and testing
  • Important step in risk management is identification of which devices do and do not have PHI.
  • In-house risk management is very important, but vendors often do not make sufficient detailed information for this to be done well, particularly in the area of residual risk, where vendors may be hesitant to be forthright for competitive or legal reasons.

Next Meeting

PCD MEM 2012-07-23-30 Webex Monday 1:00 pm