James Davis, of Larkin General Hospital, South Miami, Fla, sent me a story that ends with his suggestion for a “Best Practice” about test equipment. Read on for James’ story and my thanks to him for sending it.

“Test equipment is essential to any BMET in a medical facility. When the equipment is in need of repair or calibration, getting this done can pose some problems—especially when it has to be shipped across the country. I hope my recent experience with this will alert others who have to ship their test equipment out for service.


My electrical safety tester recently came back from service. After no more than a month of use a problem occurred with it. Since it was still under warranty and had not been tampered with, repair seals unbroken, correcting the problem for no more than the charge for shipping was going to be my only worry. How naive I was. The repair company—in this case the manufacturer—claimed that the tester had been opened because the seal was broken. I knew full well this was not the case, but since I did not have pictures of how the tester appeared (as queried by the manufacturer) when it was shipped out, arguing about this was not going to get me anywhere.

On the manufacturer’s Web site there is not a recommendation to take pictures of the tester, particularly seals, when an issue involving warranty occurs, just a section for filling out the paperwork for repair. The fact that this particular company has—in the past—sent back testers to my company after calibration and/or repair that have then had problems, and the company corrected these problems when they were pointed out, had me think things were status quo. Definitely something has changed.

So, I advise any tech who has to ship test equipment for warranty repair to have a picture taken of it, showing the seal, taken at the shipper before being packaged. If the picture can be time-dated even better. I found out that my shipper of choice provides this type of service at an extra cost. So, inquire with your shipper about these services before you get in a situation like mine.  Submitted by James Davis


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