One of our most popular requests when a hospital plans to buy or upgrade equipment on an anesthesia workstation is to conduct tip testing. It’s a service we provide without charge for all of our solutions, but it is especially important for those in operating rooms. Anesthesiologists need to know that the patient monitors, medical devices, keyboards and other essential equipment works for them in both a sitting and standing position. In adding mounted patient monitors and computers to an anesthesia machine, though, the tip hazard becomes a bigger issue and must be addressed through testing to ensure compliance and safe use.
GCX has almost every common anesthesia machine and patient monitor manufactured in the last 30 years and can therefore set up a very accurate test configuration in our Petaluma, CA, facility. Additionally, we can conduct tip testing and validation for any new patient monitor or medical device released from one of our partners. All a customer has to do is take a photo of their desired setup, or outline all equipment they plan on using, and we’ll mimic the exact setup in our facility and test per the IEC 60601-1 standard.
Tip testing helps hospitals make the right investments when planning EMR and computer hardware implementations. By testing a uniquely configured workstation in our test environment, healthcare organization leaders know their equipment will work with a specific solution before they make the purchase. That’s why we frequently conduct tip tests based on sales quotes or anticipated equipment upgrades. If we know exactly what’s being mounted and where, we can evaluate how the mock up will fare in a healthcare setting, not just with hypotheticals or standard usage. It’s one of the ways we add value to a GCX purchase and differentiate ourselves in the medical marketplace. We want to propose a safe solution, therefore, if we run into issues with tip stability with an exact configuration, we will use our expertise in this space to propose an alternative solution that will work for a facility’s operating room.
So, what happens during a typical tip test? After receiving all required information, we mimic a setup with actual medical devices and mocked up IT displays and keyboards arranged as requested. We test each configuration per the IEC 60601-1 3rd Edition testing standard, which is a test we perform to verify the stability and mechanical safety of GCX mounting hardware. The workstation is put on a ramp and we perform testing procedures outlined in the standard including: instability, rough handling, movement over a threshold and more. If a proposed configuration does not pass this test, we can test in transport position or adjust equipment mounting locations or lengths of GCX arms/mounts, do additional testing and offer recommendations.
Once completed, we can provide the hospital a testing document showing valid test results for a safe configuration based on their mounting needs. Though free to interested hospitals, these tip tests take one to four uninterrupted hours to perform, which makes it a significant investment on our part. But it’s a cost we’ll gladly absorb because it’s the right thing to do for our customers and prospective buyers. These tip tests and validations prevent potential injuries and ensure optimal performance throughout the GCX product life cycle.