By Gay Gordon-Byrne
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, or MITA, recently argued that BMETs sharing repair documentation is dangerous for patient care. In my opinion, this is categorically false. More information in the hands of highly trained and qualified people who need such information to keep essential equipment available only improves access to patient care. And either that is true or the timely availability of diagnostic medical imaging equipment doesn’t affect patient outcomes. Both cannot be true at the same time.
Everything hosted on iFixit.com came directly from biomeds who have been sharing the same materials informally for years. Further, it is very inefficient for BMETs to take hours away from making repairs and doing required PMs in support of patient care to get on forums, search websites, or make calls to OEM tech support to download a required manual.
iFixit began looking for ventilator repair manuals to host as a public service during the pandemic. However, the need turned out to be bigger and, despite having no profit potential, more than 200 volunteers, including me, spent countless hours organizing and sanitizing more than 45,000 shared manuals. The results have been rewarding. BMETs have told us that they can find the documents they need more efficiently via the iFixit search portal than when searching through their own archives.
And, regarding MITA, association members could use the same technology to help improve access to their current and archived imaging equipment service manuals. After all, if patient safety, care, and better outcomes are the priority, then I believe it’s nonsensical to withhold repair and PM manuals from those who need them.
Gay Gordon-Byrne is executive director of The Repair Association. Questions and comments can be directed to 24×7 Magazine chief editor Keri Forsythe-Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org.