Achieving a model for improving medical devices management policy

DProf thesis

Sandham, J. 2014. Achieving a model for improving medical devices management policy. DProf thesis Middlesex University Institute for Work Based Learning
TypeDProf thesis
TitleAchieving a model for improving medical devices management policy
AuthorsSandham, J.

Hospitals have always faced fundamental questions of patient safety, care, and budgetary concerns. There has been increasing recognition recently of the serious issue of medical devices management, covering the areas of procurement, training, maintenance, and governance. This issue, documented by the National Audit Office, National Patient Safety Agency, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, National Health Service Litigation Authority, and World Health Organisation, impacts on healthcare costs and patient safety. It has led to new Health and Social Care Act Regulations, enforced by the Care Quality Commission.
As a result of my work as a consultant in the field of medical devices management, I constructed a policy model based on my own specialist experience and knowledge. This research sought to improve that model through participatory research conducted at an NHS Hospital in London. It took the form of a case study that specifically explored the core policy areas, but this time in collaboration with participants with expertise in one or more of the four interrelated policy areas of procurement, training, maintenance, and governance. This collaboration involved researching and analysing the external demands from regulatory agencies and internal demands from the organisation, centred on procurement, budgetary, and policy issues.
The action research informed changes in policy, especially around procurement, leading to improvements in practice. The challenge of keeping policy up to date, and consistent with the external regulations and internal operational demands, is discussed in the case study. The Hospital’s internal politics and culture were found to be a help when starting up the case study, but a hindrance when it came to getting agreement and approvals to change the policy content, because of multiple committees and competing interests.
The overall outcome of the project was an organisationally approved best practice policy model for medical devices management within a governance framework that meets the needs of the external regulators, and the management of the organisation. More specifically it was discovered that the use, maintenance, and governance of medical equipment were all reliant on a central issue, namely procurement practice. Procurement conduct for the organisation was redefined within the Hospital policy, and is making training, maintenance, and governance easier to achieve, thereby reducing risk and cost. A major consequence is that all budget holders need to be trained in procurement itself. Moreover, it is anticipated that the model could be used at similar healthcare organisations, ultimately leading to a contribution to knowledge and practice which assists in patient safety and meeting budgets.

Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
Department nameInstitute for Work Based Learning
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print08 Apr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Apr 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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