Conversation abounds about automation, whether in relation to interconnected devices that automatically feed to the electronic medical record, or the latest test equipment that automatically analyzes and stores results, all of which reduce the need for manual documentation. In reality, how many departments actually utilize these new technologies when it comes to PMs and repair documentation?

We have a new poll on our home page that asks this question: What technology do you use to eliminate or reduce manual data entry and/or the use of paper scratch sheets to log PMs or repair documentation?

Did your biomed department, “cast off their pencils and clip boards and run for the digital horizon,” as one of your colleagues asked? Our previous poll asked if your department supplied you with a smartphone to take advantage of apps that may help streamline your work and the majority said no.

Where does the average biomed department stand in relation to these advances? Are the handheld bar code readers with Wi-Fi, RFID integrated technologies financially accessible to clinical/biomedical engineering departments, or are they out of reach? Could these devices integrate into computerized maintenance management software platforms you may already use?

Who’s minding this store and leading the way to adopt this type of technology? As the economy continues to struggle and dollars remain locked, these investments could go a long way to improving efficiency.

What automation has your department adopted? How did you get there? What would you like to see developed, such as a “Quick-PM” or “Rapid Repair Order” app, as a colleague suggested. Also, you can click here to get to our home page, then scroll down to take the poll.