The right service partner needs to support the reliability and longevity of your equipment, as well as your commitment to safety and compliance. Our panel of technical experts explain.
Andy Ellis, quality and regulatory compliance director at Arjo Western Europe, knows that care providers are under pressure to deliver high quality care as efficiently, and cost effectively, as possible. However, some costs are always worth investing in, such as ensuring your care equipment is regularly serviced, and insisting on genuine parts.
“Your Arjo equipment is validated to last its expected lifetime – provided you follow the recommended maintenance, and use only validated parts sourced from Arjo,” Andy explains. “We’ve done the testing to know how often the equipment should be serviced, which parts will wear out with use, and how often they should be replaced to maintain that level of safety.
“By skipping the scheduled maintenance or buying cheaper parts, you risk causing more serious damage to the equipment or cutting years off its lifetime, and may end up having to pay more to repair or replace it.”
“Only Arjo genuine parts have been included in all the testing and validation of Arjo equipment,” explains Johanna Dennbo, an Arjo design assurance manager based in Malmö, Sweden. “If you use alternative parts that have not been through that validation, we cannot guarantee that the equipment will still meet the same safety parameters.”
“As the people who make the equipment, we want to make sure we meet all the safety and quality requirements and more,” says Jean-Philippe Boulianne, Arjo design assurance manager in Magog, Canada. “Customers should have the assurance that the parts have been tested to withstand the working load day in and day out, that it will not cause performance or compatibility issues, that it will not cause more serious damage to the equipment, and so on.”
During scheduled maintenance, Arjo technicians are trained to thoroughly inspect your equipment to address problems before they occur. The aim is to minimise equipment downtime which can expose patients and care staff to risk of injury, and can be costly in terms of lost efficiency.
“When the product doesn’t perform as it should, it becomes extremely inconvenient for the caregivers. They may resort to manual handling, often from a position that leaves them more vulnerable to injury and strain,” adds Andy.
“If we don’t follow the recommended servicing or use incompatible parts, the worst that can happen is the equipment can become damaged,” says Björn Hoveman, engineering manager for Arjo research & development in Malmö, Sweden. “If you think about what our equipment is used for, that’s a risk we should not take.”
Sometimes this requires replacing parts before they become damaged, even though the wear and tear may not yet be easily visible.
“Castors (wheels) for example may have limited visible wear, but ensuring these are changed regularly has one of the largest impacts on ease of maneuverability and performance of our equipment,” says Arthur Heffernan, Arjo regional service manager in Ontario, Canada.
“Sometimes a ceiling lift wheel has already cracked, and the only indicator is a slight clicking noise while operating the equipment,” explains Derryk Wilson, Arjo senior field service technician for the Western Canada area. “If we continue to use the equipment without replacing the cracked wheel, it will eventually break into pieces.”
Due to its link to safety concerns, the use of validated parts has also become a compliance requirement in many parts of the world.
“According to the new Medical Device Regulations in the EU and UK, for example, if you replace a defective or worn spare part, you must have evidence to support that the replacement has the same specifications, and does not overall affect the equipment’s performance,” explains Andy.
“Care facilities are accountable for complying with local requirements, so they should choose a service provider who is accountable as well. When the potential safety and cost risks are so high, customers should never have to simply take our word for it. We provide the compliance documents for all our actions – scheduled or corrective maintenance, the parts we replace, protocols we follow – and we can trace how our parts are validated and sourced.”
“One of the reasons I always feel more confident in Arjo equipment is because we provide local technical support through Arjo Care to help ensure the equipment is properly serviced and maintained,” says Derryk.
“The use of genuine parts is the easiest path to properly functioning equipment while ensuring compliance,” adds Arthur, “and the use of an accountable service partner like Arjo Care can reduce downtime which, in turn, results in better equipment availability allowing the best possible outcomes.”
Contact your local Arjo representative to ensure genuine parts are included in your service agreement.