The GenA and CTA Clinical Engineering support groups consist of engineers, technicians and equipment specialists that work from a variety of work areas, equipment cleaning stations and storage areas. These areas are typically integrated into the operating room facilities. By placing the engineering facilities within the operating room areas, the technicians and engineers can quickly respond to service requests. In addition, the work areas, supplies and the technical support are directly and easily accessible to anesthesia clinicians. This not only provides for excellent response times for service requests, it also promotes a positive working relationship between the engineers, technicians and anesthesia specialists with anesthesia clinicians. Also, these support groups have found that effective equipment troubleshooting techniques are developed by working directly in the operating room areas. This is a result of observing failures or problems as they occur. Immediate problem solving, feedback and/or additional training of the clinicians is very effective and is also appreciated by the clinicians.
The anesthesia work areas are central locations for the cleaning and processing of re-usable items. The workrooms are arranged so that each operating room is adequately covered. There are additional areas where overstock and specialty supplies are stored and specialty support carts are managed. The GenA workroom in the main operating room facilities utilizes a unique monitor developed in-house by the Anesthesia Information Systems Group section to display GenA operating room status. Utilizing information available on the patient care data network, the technician or specialist can quickly determine room availability. The GenA department has installed cleaning and sterilization equipment specific for some GenA equipment to improve equipment turnaround and supply availability.
The engineering work areas are utilized primarily to service and fabricate Anesthesia Department-owned devices. There is storage in each work area for the inventory of replacement equipment and parts needed to support the patient care monitors and anesthesia machines used by the Anesthesiology Institute. These work areas are equipped with electronic test equipment and a large variety of specialized test, calibration and service devices, as well as standard electronic test instrumentation. A small machine shop is utilized for special fabrication needs. The machine shop has been generally used to construct custom mounting brackets and minor equipment modifications. In addition, there have been some interesting and unique devices designed and fabricated by the engineers for use by the clinicians.
The scope of the engineering support extends to three regional ambulatory surgical centers. Equipment technicians in each center work to support the anesthesia clinicians with responsibilities similar to those that work at Cleveland Clinic main campus. When necessary, these regional technicians may also do some minor repair and/or testing of devices.