Improve Your Practice

Your duties as a practice manager will often encompass purchase decisions regarding medical equipment for the practice.

What equipment does the practice need?

Prior to acquiring any medical equipment, you need to decide what is required for everyday practice and then consider what procedures may be performed in the practice.

Purchase the priority items first. You may want to consider purchasing more items later when the practice is generating a profit and you are more familiar with what services are being frequently provided.

When purchasing equipment, ensure that you research possible suppliers and seek several quotations prior to purchasing. You should also ensure that you negotiate with suppliers to achieve the optimal deal; this may include price, extended warranty, preventative maintenance included and additional training for users.

Equipment care and management

Create guidelines on the requirements for the routine care, maintenance and safe use of medical equipment to prevent injury to patients and staff. As a practice manager, you also need to ensure that practice staff are competent in the care, maintenance and use of relevant medical equipment in the practice and the equipment is in safe working order.

Improve your practice

  • Ensure you are aware of the warranty requirements. These can be found in the instruction manual. Keep these warranties in a safe and easily accessible place.
  • The necessary equipment should match the range of services provided, the type of patients attending the practice and the procedures the practice will provide. This includes appropriate emergency and resuscitation equipment.
  • All medical equipment should be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and be clean, in good working order and appropriately stocked prior to use.
  • Some equipment requires a license to use and this may include inspection and approval of the room where the equipment is housed.
  • Ensure any equipment is used only by those who are licensed to use it e.g. practitioner, registered nurse, trained staff.
  • On purchasing equipment, ensure you are familiar with the maintenance and service program necessary to keep the equipment functioning efficiently. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for each piece of equipment and file these instructions as needed for future reference.
  • Regular preventative maintenance should be scheduled and performed on all equipment according to the manufacturers’ instructions and any state and national guidelines.
  • Electrical equipment should be tested at least annually, in accordance with current state and national standards.
  • An equipment register should be kept, documenting maintenance and repairs of equipment. Service records should be maintained for the life of the equipment and available to staff as required. Have a procedure in place for this book to be checked on a monthly basis.
  • All relevant staff should receive education in the application and use of existing and new medical equipment in the practice. This education program and training should be initial and ongoing.
  • Equipment training manuals and operating instructions should be accessible at all times. If appropriate, it is helpful to have brief and concise instructions also attached to each piece of equipment.
  • Staff should remove faulty equipment from service immediately and send it to an authorised repairer. Any faulty equipment should be documented in an equipment book, and necessary personnel notified immediately.
  • All equipment required to comply with relevant standards and accreditation should be purchased first. Generally, this equipment is most crucial to certain practices and this is likely to link in with initial equipment requirements anyway.
  • Ensure that all cleaning, maintenance and recording of your equipment is compliant with relevant standards and accreditation guidelines.

Next page

HR manual and staff recruitment
  • Why you need an HR manual
  • What’s in an HR manual?
  • Recruiting staff

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This publication is proudly brought to you by Avant Mutual Group. The content was authored by Brett McPherson, reviewed by Colleen Sullivan and Avant Mutual Group.

This publication is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2014.

IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance products and Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions, and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. Practices need to consider other forms of insurance including directors’ and officers’ liability, public and products liability, property and business interruption insurance, and workers compensation and you should contact your insurance broker for more information. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us.