As the year comes to an end, most attention shifts to what’s next: trends, predictions, expectations and challenges. But before we look ahead to 2020, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest news from 2019. Here are five important things to keep in mind as you start a new year working in healthcare:
1) Are You Ready for Rising Regulatory Requirements for Medical Lasers?
The growing use of medical lasers to provide precise, less-invasive treatments has naturally brought increased attention to best practices and safety standards, including new ANSI safety standards and AORN guidelines which will require many organizations to make major changes in their laser operation protocol. In June, Agiliti partnered with the Laser Institute of America (LIA) to host a webinar breaking down the new requirements and outlining the steps operating rooms need to take to be compliant with updated 2018 ANSI Standards (ANSI Z136.3 – 2018) and improve their laser safety program. The webinar generated a ton of questions, leading us to post two follow-up blogs where our laser safety experts provided discrete answers and further explanation on some of the key issues that came out of the webinar.
- Watch the webinar: No Wizards Required! How to Demystify the Latest ANSI Standards and Improve Your Laser Safety Program
- Read the Blog: Medical Laser Safety Q&A – Part 1
- Read the Blog: Medical Laser Safety Q&A – Part 2
2) Agiliti + Zetta Medical Technologies = Comprehensive CE for Medical Imaging Systems
As imaging needs become increasingly critical to healthcare delivery, healthcare organizations face a growing need for proactive upkeep and maintenance of these devices — and a diminishing pool of technical talent to manage that demand. Fortunately, this July, Agiliti announced our acquisition of Zetta Medical Technologies — a leading provider of medical imaging equipment services. Zetta – now part of Agiliti – specializes in multi-vendor clinical engineering services, parts and pre-owned equipment for medical imaging modalities, including CT, MRI and PET/ CT. The integration of Zetta within the Agiliti platform of clinical engineering services gives hospitals and health systems access to Zetta’s unmatched expertise in full-service clinical engineering for imaging devices — on-demand and powered by our unparalleled, nationwide service and logistics network.
3) Are Your Vendors Leaving Dangerous Quality Gaps?
Details matter in healthcare. When the little things can make the difference between life and death, “quality” and “safety” become synonymous. The increasing demands of value-based care and the rising expectations of patients-as-consumers only accentuate the small factors that play big roles in clinical quality, patient safety and outcomes ranging from operational costs to staff satisfaction. Put simply, there’s no room for risk — and there’s no such thing as a harmless shortcut. Yet several concerning quality gaps have emerged — and many are sitting right at your patients’ bedsides and operating tables.
We revealed several of these alarming clinical quality and patient safety gaps in a four-part blog series uncovering factors negatively affecting risk — and how your organization can take steps to eliminate these gaps to protect your patients and your business:
- The Quality Engine: How the Vendors you Choose Impact Your Facility
- Why “ISO-certified” Isn’t Enough: The Difference Between ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015
- Understanding ANSI: What New Standards Mean for Your Laser Operators
- Evaluating Vendor Quality: Best Practices for Closing the Quality Gap
Download the full report here: Fueling the Quality Engine: Small Details that Drive Big Impacts on Healthcare Outcomes
4) ANSI Illumination Award Recognizes Agiliti for Our Commitment to Medical Laser Safety Excellence
Speaking of vendor quality, earlier this year, the Board of Laser Safety (BLS) selected Agiliti as one of two recipients of the 2019 Illumination Award. The award recognizes our commitment to helping provider organizations achieve excellence in medical laser safety practices, including being one of the few laser services vendors that directly employs certified medical laser safety officers. As you might have gathered from #1 on this list, medical laser safety is a big deal around here — particularly as Agiliti has recognized that, among current laser operators, as many as 70% lack the necessary certification to applicable regulatory standards for laser and patient safety.
5) Keeping Up with Flu Season Means Getting Smart About Equipment Rental
Back in August, we offered some time-tested tips for preparing to meet the demand spikes of flu season. We’re hoping you took our advice and started preparing early, because the 2019-2020 flu season got off to an earlier-than-normal start — and it’s shaping up to be a rough one. The CDC estimates that from October 1 to November 30, 2.5 million people were diagnosed with the flu, and nearly 30,000 people were hospitalized because of it. A flu forecaster at Los Alamos National Laboratory told the Associated Press this year “is already worse than three of the past 20 flu seasons ever were,” warning of an “elevated likelihood of a higher than normal peak this season.”
The good news is that it’s definitely not too late to revisit our tips for keeping up with the volatile census demand of flu season — including how to leverage smart rental strategies to make sure you have the equipment you need, when and where it’s needed.
- Read the Blog: 5 Ways to Prepare for Flu Season
- Download the Report: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Hospital Equipment Rental
These are just a few highlights from a very busy year for Agiliti. If you haven’t done so recently, it’s worth taking a quick scan through the Agiliti blog to find other relevant and helpful content that you might have missed in 2019. We’re continuously striving to keep you aware of what’s new in best practices, regulatory changes and emerging challenges. Keep an eye out for our predictions and trends for 2020. Wishing you happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!