Improving the way hospitals maintain medical devices with FileMaker

Posted by Justin Hesser on July 31, 2012

A recent study conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst exposed that today's commonly used medical devices may need better security and tracking methods as well as an updated means of maintaining important information in case of malfunctions. Most of these problems can be alleviated through the use of custom database software.

By combing through the Food and Drug Administration's databases, the group of researchers determined that the industry needs a more effective reporting system for medical devices and increased cybersecurity efforts.

According to Kevin Fu, a computer scientist and medical device security expert at UMass Amherst, hospitals should "rethink how to effectively and efficiently collect data on security and privacy problems in devices that increasingly depend on computing systems susceptible to malware."

With the increasing dependence on medical devices to monitor illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, the safety and maintenance of these devices is becoming very important. While working through the FDA's databases the researchers found that, while security concerns are relatively low, the way the administration stores and records important device information needs tweaking, as it is not well suited for handling modern malfunctions and repairs.

By using custom database software, hospitals and medical professionals can create a database that holds important user information that will allow them to keep an accurate account of specific device locations. In addition, custom database software can be used to file reports of incidents involving these devices for authorities and aid with any subsequent investigations. Administrators can later track the need for possible repairs and determine how much this work would cost.