||Healthcare Inspection – Alleged Preventive Maintenance Inspection Deficiencies, Northern Arizona VA Health Care System, Prescott, Arizona
||Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
||Office of Healthcare Inspections
OIG conducted an inspection in response to a complainant’s allegations concerning medical equipment with expired preventive maintenance inspections (PMIs). The confidential complainant alleged that equipment with expired PMIs posed an immediate hazard to the safety of patients at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System, Prescott, AZ. We did not substantiate the allegation that medical equipment with expired PMIs posed an immediate hazard to the safety of patients. We found no evidence of medical equipment failures or malfunctions that contributed to the death, serious injury, or serious illness of any individual. We did not substantiate the allegation that all of the respiratory therapy (RT) equipment had expired PMIs, with some exceeding expiration dates by several years, and that several pieces of equipment had inspection stickers indicating “routine inspection not applicable.” We found no RT equipment with expired PMIs or with inspection stickers indicating “routine inspection not applicable.” We did not substantiate the allegation that the expectation was for RT equipment to remain in use with expired PMIs. We substantiated the allegation that other departments had medical equipment with expired PMIs. We found medical equipment with expired or missing safety inspection labels and missing equipment entry numbers. We substantiated the allegation that the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department is “short staffed.” We found that the system was allocated four full-time equivalent BME technician positions but did not fill the vacancies of two technicians who terminated their employment. We recommended that the System Director initiate actions to address medical equipment with expired PMIs and assess staffing in the BME Department and take appropriate actions to meet the workload requirements.