5 Reasons Healthcare Organizations Should Pay for BMET Trainings

Biomedical technician evaluating equipment wearing scrubs and mask

Without BMETS, who would repair medical devices, perform scheduled maintenance, and conduct performance and electrical inspections? Who would install and calibrate new medical equipment? Not to mention work with vendors, contractors, IS, and other departments to solve complex issues and complete special projects?

Yet, as austerity demands are pinching the purse, some hospital administrators view professional development for BMETs as a non-essential expense. Strictly speaking, that may be true. However, stand-alone hospitals, large health systems, and ISOs typically discover that investing in BMET training positively impacts finances, patient care, clinical outcomes, and safety.

Below are five reasons healthcare organizations should provide training for BMETs

1. Increase in-house repairs

Medical devices only help healthcare organizations earn money when they’re supporting the patient. If a device breaks down, it gets taken off the patient and then it stays off until it has been fully repaired. The cost of device downtime varies depending on the type of machine and the specific healthcare organization. In some cases, a few hours of downtime can cost the hospital thousands of dollars.

The more competence the in-house techs have across brands and device models, the more repairs can happen onsite. Paying for BMETs to train on specific equipment sets prepares them to work on more complex issues that may arise in those systems. With proper training, in-house BMETs can handle up to 90% of repairs in-house.

Faster turnaround times

Broken devices shipped off to the OEM or a repair company extend downtime. OEM repair departments frequently have very long turnaround times. Even a speedy 3rd-party repair business must wait for items to ship to them and then ship them back. Sometimes, back-ordered parts prolong repair times even more.

With trained BMETs in the onsite shop, a repair that could take weeks if shipped out for service might take only a day or two to complete. That device could be back on the patient the next day, saving the facility hundreds or thousands in lost revenue.

2. Better repairs and preventive maintenance

A 2014 study found that trained BMETs showed 114% more productivity and used more of the knowledge from their training in their work. Furthermore, hospitals with trained BMETs had 50% more operational equipment.

In the US, many BMETs have completed a training program before joining a hospital team. But the basic curriculum doesn’t cover the vast range of medical devices currently on the market and in hospitals. The knowledge provided during continuing education helps technicians fill in gaps and make connections, which is essential for problem-solving. Training provides familiarity with the machine–hardware, software, design, and failure points. It also demystifies PM procedures and helps techs recognize early signs of trouble for proactive repairs.

3. Bridging the experience gap

An ongoing shortage of BMETs has left many younger technicians scrambling to catch up in the absence of senior colleagues or mentors. More and more BMETs are retiring; the average age of level III BMETs is around 52 years.

Organizing in-house trainings or sending employees to offsite courses can connect newer BMETs with guidance from seasoned experts. Learning from senior technicians can significantly boost the confidence of newer technicians, and their work will benefit from the passing down of experience and wisdom.

4. Staying up to date with the latest technology

Like all technology, nowadays health tech is rapidly evolving. BMETs need to stay abreast of innovative solutions and pertinent developments. BMETs also play an important role in cybersecurity. Knowledgeable BMETs can advise decision-makers when considering the purchase of new clinical assets and advanced systems.

5. Risk Management

The argument for this one is straightforward. As we discussed in #2, better knowledge and skills mean better repairs. Conversely, poor repair quality can compromise device functionality; in healthcare, that could result in patient harm, including death.

Investing in quality training for BMETs helps hospitals minimize the risk of an adverse patient event due to medical device failure.

What to look for in a BMET training program

When considering an OEM or 3rd-party training program, the most important factor is selecting a trust-worthy organization. Vet the businesses that offer BMET courses just as you would any other vendor. A program is only as good as its educators, so be sure to ask for the instructors' credentials.

The desirable features of a training program will differ depending on the organization's needs and the BMET team's background. Some features and curriculum topics that managers may seek out include:

  • Flexible curriculum
  • Design and history of each device
  • Instruction in disassembly, assembly, and PM protocols
  • Hands-on practice sessions
  • Soft skills training
  • Professional networking

Elite Biomedical Solutions offers fully customizable training programs. Elite's level 2 and 3 technicians, provide classroom and hands-on instruction, allowing BMETs to learn and practice solving real-world problems in a welcoming environment.

Biomedical equipment technicians can earn CEUs while learning from senior level BMETs at Elite Biomedical Solutions’ dedicated training facility. To schedule a consultation with our training coordinators or to learn more about our high-quality parts and repair support, contact us today.

Back To Top