The hospital-wide pooling and sharing of certain types of medical equipment can lead to both significant improvements in patient safety and financial advantages when compared with a department or ward-level equipment ownership system. In September 2003, a Medical Equipment Loan Service (MELS) was established, focusing initially on infusion pumps.
The aims and expected benefits included; improving availability of equipment for both patients and clinical users, managing and reducing clinical risk, reducing equipment diversity, improving equipment management and reducing the overall cost of equipment provision. A user survey was carried out in 2005 and repeated in 2011. The results showed wide and continued satisfaction with the service. The process and difficulties of establishing the service and its development to include additional types of equipment are described. The benefits of managing medical equipment which is in widespread general use, through a MELS as part of a Clinical Engineering Department, are presented.
Keay, S., McCarthy, J.P. and Carey-Smith, B.E. (2015) Medical equipment libraries: implementation, experience and user satisfaction. Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology. 39(6), p.354-62.
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