A North Wales hospital has significantly cut the time taken to test the safety of thousands of medical devices using Rigel Medical 288 electrical safety analysers. General hospital Glan Clwyd Hospital serves a population of 250,000 and four outlying community hospitals in and around Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl in North Wales.
It has approximately 5,000 medical devices currently in use which require electrical safety testing at least once a year, sometimes every six months depending on usage levels.
These include patient monitors, defibrillators, ventilators, incubators and infusion devices. In 2007, the hospital decided to replace its existing electrical safety testers, which were proving bulky and cumbersome to transport around test sites, with the smaller and more lightweight, hand held Rigel 288s. The move has enabled the 14-strong team of service engineers to reduce the time it takes to undertake electrical safety checks on medical devices in use at Glan Clwyd and other sites the hospital supports.
This has led to an improvement in the use of resources as the engineers can complete more tests in less time, delivering cost saving benefits for the local NHS Trust. Additional time saving benefits are provided because the information captured by the 288 can be quickly and easily downloaded via Bluetooth technology to a central computer database, which stores the test history of every medical device in use.
Responsibility for the management of the medical devices lies with Electro Biomedical Engineering based at Glan Clwyd Hospital. Departmental head Alun Griffiths said: The 288 is a very good instrument and has been a huge improvement on the previous testers. The engineers, who are very happy with the 288s, find them extremely easy to use and really appreciate the fact that they?re compact enough to carry around with them. Another great advantage we?ve found is that we can pick and choose the test for each device. This has speeded up procedures and contributed to the increased number of tests now be completed daily.
The Rigel 288 incorporates easy-to-follow menu driven instructions for simple operation and test control of all IEC62353 required electrical safety tests in manual, semi automatic or fully automatic test modes. Available as part of a special test kit is the new battery operated Test ?n Tag Elite printer which provides an easy way to generate tamper proof barcode pass-fail labels or result print outs.
The Elite printer also has the additional ability to design and print customised logos or contact details on every label printed. This not only gives a clear indication of the electrical safety of the medical equipment, but also a simple way of providing contact details in the event of unexpected service requirements. Each label offers a cost effective way of enhancing customer service and is unique to the Rigel 288.
The Elite can also be used with thermal paper for on the spot printing of test results using the industry standard 50mm wide paper. For traceability and safety audit purposes, wireless connection also means that data from the Rigel 288?s large internal memory can be transferred immediately and directly from the tester to PC-based record keeping systems at the touch of a button. The 288 forms part of a comprehensive range of high performance specialist biomedical test equipment supplied by Rigel Medical, part of the Seaward Group. More at Rigel Medical is based at Bracken Hill, South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee, County Durham, SR8 2SW.