Biomedical Engineers are a vital part of any healthcare team or facility, helping to bridge traditional engineering skills with medical applications. They primarily focus on analyzing various challenges and designing efficient solutions to boost the quality of effective patient care. Every day all over the globe, Biomedical engineers contribute largely to patient satisfaction and safety by managing medical technology, maintaining track of hospital inventory, and ensuring that every piece of medical equipment is working at its best.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical engineers, when employed in a healthcare organization, perform multiple roles in the development and advancement of medical device usage and other clinical services. Some of these roles include
- hospital asset management,
- Selection, installation, and maintenance of equipment
- Support Healthcare professionals to assess technology beneficial for patient care
- Development of specialized equipment for patient-specific research and treatment
It is a role that demands exceptional knowledge in engineering, computational nature, and good problem-solving skills.
Challenges faced by a Biomedical Engineer in Hospital
a. Track of equipment servicing schedules: If a biomedical engineer is assigned with maintaining and repairing numerous medical equipment across multiple healthcare facilities, it becomes difficult to keep a track of the servicing requirements for each equipment.
b. Obtaining Manufacturer support: Sometimes, the biomedical engineer might be unfamiliar with the piece of equipment he/she is working on; which leads to issues in servicing the device on spot. In such instances, the biomedical engineer must contact the device manufacturer for assistance. This often proves difficult because at most times, either the manufacturer is unresponsive, or he is no longer in business with the facility.
c. Location of Parts to repair equipment: Locating parts of a device to replace the failing ones is a difficult task. Most hospitals cannot maintain a digital database of existing hospital assets and their manufacturing details, which further creates a problem for the biomedical engineer to access replacement parts when in urgent need.
Lives of Biomedical Engineers during COVID-19
A Pandemic with a global scale such as the COVID-19 urges every healthcare professional, including biomedical engineers to work round the clock, thus ensuring the efficient functioning of essential equipment and devices 24/7.
Biomedical engineers from across the country have set aside their regular tasks to repair ventilators and PPEs (Personal protective equipment) to aid the healthcare professionals tending to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs.
Although, the Pandemic has taken a negative toll on the lives of biomedical engineers somewhere along the way.
- The conventional methods of medical equipment sterilization are not viable, which poses a risk for the engineers going for service repairs in healthcare facilities swarmed with COVID-19 patients.
- The chances to make newer hospital connections are very slim, due to the ever-looming threat of COVID-19. Most healthcare facilities are refraining from appointing new faces in an attempt to keep the contamination to a minimum, which in turn is affecting the monetary need of the biomedical engineers.
At such times, the need for streamlining medical equipment and services through a singular platform is of the utmost. This guarantees faster and easier access for biomedical engineers to schedule repair services, obtain technical support, acquire replacement parts, and generate new connections with medical organizations.