Medical equipment calibration is performed for many reasons, but most importantly, it is performed to ensure the overall functionality of the equipment is accurate and reliable. Comparable to manufacturing equipment, medical equipment is prone to drifting and damage over time which impacts its performance. In order to retain medical equipment’s effectiveness, calibration needs to be completed on a regular basis. By doing so, the equipment will have minimal performance risks and reduced uncertainties. Accuracy of medical equipment is especially important because it effects the overall output, relating to both quality and profitability.
Notably, calibration of medical equipment is mandatory in order to receive certification and licenses from regulatory boards.
The simple answer to this question: it depends. Each piece of equipment has a different requirement based on its scale of use. For this reason, it is highly recommended to create a calibration schedule for each piece of equipment. Although this seems like a tedious task, it is the best way to ensure all equipment is calibrated when it needs to be. When creating a schedule for medical equipment calibration, you should also consider the following:
Nine times out of ten medical equipment will come with a manufacturer recommendation of when to calibrate the instrument. For example, many manufacturers recommended calibrating a pipette every 6 months depending upon usage. While these recommendations offer a great start for creating the right frequency, it is important to keep other factors.
Ensuring your instrument is performing accurate is extremely important before starting a big project. It is advised to have any medical equipment calibrated before use of any project, but especially those that require sharp precision. Keep in mind, equipment that has undergone any major project for an excessive period of time should also be calibrated. This is because frequent and heavy use cause performance and accuracy drifts.
Sometimes equipment trauma is hard to avoid. For example, a piece of medical equipment could endure a large fall or physical impact that could interfere with equipment performance. If anything similar were to happen to your piece of medical equipment, it is crucial for you to re-calibrate prior to usage.
Equipment can also undergo trauma from internal overloads. These overloads can occur due to a high volume of usage. To ensure that the equipment is performing to its highest ability after an overload, it is important to re-calibrate the equipment before continued use.
Ideally, medical equipment should be re-calibrated based upon the amount it is used and for how long it has been used. This amount varies dependent upon the equipment owner; therefore, it is important to base medical equipment calibration schedules around your own personal usage.
When creating a schedule for your medical equipment calibration, you should take into account all of the above factors. Accuracy of medical equipment is of extreme importance and effects the overall output of the equipment. To ensure medical equipment is accurate, reliable and above all safe, calibration should be performed frequently. In the end, failure of medical equipment could produce higher financial costs, more so than calibrating your equipment more than once a year.
Have equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, as well?
Read our guide to find out everything you need to know for proper calibration.