Proposed Method to Evaluate the Impact on Health Outcomes of Capacity Building for Maintenance and Repair of Medical Equipment in Rwanda
It has been shown that training biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) improves healthcare, but it is unclear if capacity building for repair and maintenance of medical equipment leads to improved patient health outcomes, and whether that relationship between equipment service and health can be measured.
Health indicators are identified that may be used to measure an impact on patient health outcomes of Engineering World Health's biomedical equipment repair and maintenance training program in Rwanda.
Fieldwork was conducted for 9 weeks in country to identify these indicators. Providers and administrators in twelve hospitals in Rwanda were interviewed about patient health outcomes, equipment use, and procedure preference based on equipment availability for selected clinical focus areas. Equipment availability and status were also surveyed. From the existing literature, expected health outcomes were compared between procedure preferences to estimate how patients would be affected by the availability of functional medical equipment.
Neonatal jaundice treatment with phototherapy lamps, neonatal thermoregulation with incubators, and oxygen provision for acute respiratory management were identified as areas where the relationship between equipment service training and health could be measured. It is recommended that some of these areas be studied in the field to confirm and quantify the connection.
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