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The Value of Biomedical Technologist

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The Value of Biomedical Technologist

What is a biomedical technologist?

A ‘biomed’ or biomedical technologist is an individual who works for a biomedical services company who has been vetted to be qualified and experienced to preform services related to businesses that are focused in the medicine, dentistry and physio therapy fields.  Biomeds can come from multiple related fields including: biomedical technologist, biomedical technician, and electrical & biomedical engineering. All of these share the common characteristic that the schools from which they graduate are ‘accredited’, meaning the schooling curriculum and tests ensure graduates are competent and knowledgeable in their program; more so than other programs with open course selection and graduation criterion. While these are the main sources that biomeds come from, there are a vast array of individuals who have other backgrounds not directly related by medicine and the like. Historically, biomedical technology has been the area of expertise of engineers, mechanics, lab technicians, hobbyists, information technology or even regular medical personnel who had found themselves needing to maintain the equipment they work with. A lot of biomedical technologists who currently work in hospitals are many of these things, and especially people who worked for supply companies that have direct experience with the equipment they used to sell. It is only recently that positions been increasingly filled with people with specific biomed qualifications. This has been done for a number of reasons, but mostly due to Health Canada and various governing bodies that oversee healthcare personnel to ensure that each business abides by accreditation, health & safety, and standards of practice requirements. These organizations ensure that their stamp of approval is only given if a qualified company has checked out the equipment, procedures, practices, and working environment.

What can a biomed do for you?

A biomed, first and foremost, is capable of ensuring the health and safety of any electrical and mechanical equipment that may or may directly interact with patients or practitioners, Electrically, this person ensures electrical output is safe to use for its intended purpose without causing discomfort or effect on physiology such as cardiac, tissue or nerve damage/malfunction. Mechanically, they check to see if the longevity is there for your equipment so it suddenly won’t fail, be less effective, cause ergonomic discomfort, or have uncomfortable/unsafe auditory effect. Some examples across multiple industries that they might deal with are: blood pressure monitors, treatment beds, centrifuges, or exercise equipment. Biomeds successfully preform this service during what is called ‘preventative maintenance’, or PMs. PMs are yearly visits where the biomed uses various testing modalities to compare that device’s output or operation is within their written standards. A few examples are as follows:

  • Testing the operation current, resistance, and current leakage on a device so components won’t suddenly fail, cause shocks, or trip breakers
  • Investigating the cleanliness and lubrication of moving parts so parts that bear loads or keep an enclosure together (which prevents device failure) as well as prolongs the life of the equipment
  • Testing various outputs on measurement devices for accuracy and effectiveness and conformation to established medical or safety standards
  • Checking accessories to see if they’re safe and being used effectively

These are a few broad type of tasks biomeds preform, but usually cover the bulk of their time on your site. Throughout these PMs, a biomed will provide a report on what is working, what isn’t, and what can be done to remedy any less-than-ideal conditions. Should you need a new part, accessory, or even newer/replacement device, they are capable, through supplier partnerships, obtain and install these items at a reduced cost. Some older equipment is not even supported by certain suppliers and are unobtainable otherwise.

Extra services provided by TRH Biomeds

While it may be obvious generally what TRH can do for your equipment, there are a few supplementary activities that some clients make use of and find valuable.  These may not be biomed – specific, but fall under our area of expertise and it only makes sense to have one company take care of multiple activities for efficiency’s sake.

One such activity is building maintenance: if you do not have somebody to take care of lighting, mechanical, gas systems, or other miscellaneous tasks that normally fall on somebody who already has a demanding job, TRH is able to assess, regularly test, and provide recommendations on how best to manage your site in its technical aspects.  What is required depends on the customer, type of building, and other aspects that can be worked out at the time of the quote and assessment.

An equipment activity that TRH can help you with is evaluating new technology that you are considering investing in and give you an overview of long-term costs, purchase it, do an incoming inspection from the manufacturer, and generally save you time and money by steering you towards successful and trusted models. Another service that TRH provides is helping you retire aging, replaced or broken pieces of equipment by purchasing it from you so that we can either use it as a source for spare parts or refurbish it to be sold, rented or loaned.

Site Assessment

For new customers, the typical process for determine what/should be serviced is to have you send a comprehensive list of what equipment you have on site and return to you a quote on what it would cost yearly to maintain those items. Established customers will know what to expect each year since your equipment list will be maintained in our database. Once you determine what you’d like looked at, our qualified technicians will be scheduled to your convenience to visit your site and perform the work you’d like. Most of the time the invoice will match the quote, unless there are extenuating circumstances or repairs; the more accurate you are with the quantity and type/model of items the closer these two amounts will be. Going forward with subsequent years, you can get a more accurate idea of what it will cost to maintain your equipment since at that point it will be in our system for parts ordering or efficiency of site visits.