On 24×7 we have a poll to see what technology you use to eliminate or reduce manual data entry and/or the use of paper scratch sheets to log PMs or repair documentation. We offer three different choices, such as some type of Wi-FI enabled technology that reads bar codes and produces true paperless PM and repair documentation (used by 14.3%), the same as above but you still have to enter information manually (used by 15.3%), and the last, that even though you have the bar code capability, you still have to record repair and PM data on scratch sheets or forms and then key it in manually at a desktop computer.

For the last option, 70.4% of those responding use this method, which begs the question: If you have the capability, why do you still need to perform a manual entry?

Early in July on this blog, we talked about the FDA’s new proposed rule that would require most medical devices distributed in the United States to carry a unique device identifier (UDI). An FDA representative told 24×7 it expects that a standardized identifier will help biomeds manage devices better, and help, for example, more quickly identify recalled devices.

If a UDI process becomes a federal mandate, will it help clinical engineers and biomedical equipment technicians move into a completely automated process to log PMs or repair documentation? If not, what will drive a move to complete automation?