All That You Need To Know About Medical Equipment Calibration : Over the years, there has been a commendable improvement in biotechnology and medical science. As there is a great focus on research studies and experimental analysis, medical diagnosis and treatment have become more effective and accurate than ever before. In this context, a major factor that often went overlooked a few years ago was the calibration of medical instruments.
However, things have changed today as accuracy is regarded as the key, which is the reason that complying with the calibration standards is no longer a choice for labs, pharmaceutical companies, research institutes and academic organizations. Let us understand what it is all about.
Understanding the basics of medical equipment calibration
Essentially, calibration is the process that involves a comparison between the measurements taken by an instrument and a known standard for the purpose of determining the accuracy of the readings it provides. If deviations are detected, repairs or adjustments are required to correct the errors. Finally, a detailed calibration report is issued to show the measurements that are taken before and after conducting the test.
Why medical equipment calibration?
Beyond the fact that compliance is essential for medical and biotech firms, the role of equipment calibration in the medical and biotech sectors is critical. Here are some reasons that it is regarded as absolutely necessary:
High accuracy is directly related to the health and safety of the patients because of proper diagnosis, accurate dosage and effective treatment depend on it. Inaccurate measurements by faulty devices are baneful for patients and providers alike because they can lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment. In the long run, these can elevate the costs of treatment and cause discomfort for the patients as well.
Besides having an impact on patients’ health, accuracy of medical devices also determines the efficiency and performance of the healthcare institutions and pharma firms. The ones that invest in equipment calibration are committed towards providing the best for the patients. Medical device manufacturers need to embrace calibration as a norm as it ensures consistency in the product quality, which translates into trust for their business.
It is worth mentioning that medical equipment calibration is mandatory for biotech labs and certain businesses to receive licenses and certifications from regulatory boards. The traceability of calibration reports emerges as a tangible step towards ensuring that manufacturers maintain the quality of their products to keep their licenses and accreditations in place.
Measuring devices tend to lose their accuracy over a period of time as a result of normal wear and tear, manufacturing defects, environmental changes and several other factors. Procedures such as pipette calibration are recommended to correct inaccuracies and restore their precision. These tests enable manufacturers and organizations to maintain stringent control over their equipment, systems and processes over a period of time.
How frequently medical equipment calibration needs to be done?
Though equipment calibration is to be done periodically for all instruments, the frequency is a matter of individual needs. Each piece of equipment is unique and has different calibration requirements that depend on the scale of use. For instance, if you purchase refurbished nuclear medicine equipment, they should come calibrated. As a result, it is recommended that organizations should maintain a proper calibration schedule for each instrument they own.
Though this is easier said than done considering the number of pieces they might own, the practice ensures accuracy of equipment and quality of services. Also, establishing a schedule is more like a one-time task that gives benefits over a prolonged time span. Here are some factors that should be taken into account while creating a calibration schedule:
Amount of usage
Ideally, the frequency of equipment calibration should depend on the amount of its usage as a part of a normal routine. It is obvious that an instrument that is used more frequently will be susceptible to greater wear and tear in comparison to the one that is used less. The age of the instrument is another factor that matters because the older ones are more likely to lose their accuracy within shorter time spans.
Before or after a large project
Before an organization goes ahead with a large project, they need to ensure that the entire equipment in their inventory is at the highest levels of performance and accuracy. This is the reason that calibration is suggested for the organizations involved in large projects that require a high level of precision. Similarly, re-calibration is also a good choice if a large project has just been completed because the equipment would probably have gone through extensive wear and tear during the phase.
Another factor that needs to be considered while creating a calibration schedule for medical equipment is manufacturer’s recommendation. A majority of these instruments have recommendations from the manufacturer when these are acquired in the first place. For instance, 6 months is recommended as an optimal re-calibration period for pipettes by most manufacturers. Though this factor can be helpful for scheduling, you need to consider it in combination with the other factors as well.
Sometimes you may need to go past the schedule and get the equipment re-calibrated because of unforeseen circumstances such as physical trauma. Internal overload is another reason that can cause trauma and performance deviations. If the instruments have experienced a physical trauma or overload, the probability of damage is high. This can impact its performance and accuracy and calibration is recommended sooner rather than later. In fact, it should be done prior to use otherwise the results it delivers are most likely to be faulty.
Since accuracy is the key to getting quality results with medical and biotech equipment, it should not be compromised at any cost. This means that maintaining a proper calibration schedule and adhering to it for every single medical instrument that your organization owns should be a norm rather than a choice. Besides being regular with the re-calibration, it is also crucial to have it done only from trained professionals from an accredited calibration laboratory. Not only will these experts ensure that your instrument accuracy and performance are at the highest levels, but assist you with the regulatory compliance as well.
All That You Need To Know About Medical Equipment Calibration
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