We like questions – they help us understand our clients better, challenge us to improve our services, and serve as a sense check for everything we do.
So we decided to collate some of our most frequently asked questions around washer disinfector maintenance and PPM contracts. If your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Why Is Maintenance Important?
If you don’t keep your equipment well-maintained, the potential health risks for your patients, residents and staff could be catastrophic.
If your bedpan washer is not working as it should, that could mean it is not efficiently thermally disinfecting your bedpans, urine bottles, etc.
If a patient is carrying an infection, and the utensil they previously used goes back into circulation in your facility without being properly disinfected, the risks are high.
That utensil becomes a vector for the infection to be passed on to the staff handling it, the patient using it, and anyone else they come into contact with.
Healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA or C. Diff can be lethal.
So that’s why it’s so vital that your equipment is regularly maintained: to control infection and – ultimately – save lives.
What Are The Benefits Of A Maintenance Contract?
We could go on and on about why having a maintenance contract is a good idea, but the primary benefits of taking out a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) contract are:
- Fewer breakdowns because our specially trained engineers are able to identify faults early and take preventative action
- Reduced downtime of machines due to breakdowns, and therefore increased productivity
- Fewer unplanned call-outs and replacement part costs
- Increased lifespan of machines – on average 3 years longer with regular maintenance
- Scale build-up can be managed effectively
- You are able to prove your machines have been maintained properly if you receive an unexpected CQC inspection
- Peace of mind that if you have a problem, DDC Dolphin will be there within 24-72 hours (dependent on your level of cover)
- A 20% discount on replacement parts required for DDC Dolphin machines.
What’s The Alternative To A Planned Preventative Maintenance Contract?
If you choose to not have your machines regularly serviced, the likelihood is that you will experience breakdowns.
As a result, your machine could be out of use for several days, meaning your staff will have to either travel further to an alternative machine, or use another method of washing bedpans which is less safe.
This puts your patients and staff at risk of contracting an infection.
You will also have to fork out significant and unbudgeted sums of money on call-out charges, labour, and replacement parts – which you won’t be able to purchase at the discounted rate offered with a maintenance contract.
With a service contract any potential issues with the mechanisms of your machine can be spotted early, and problems with functionality or future causes of breakdowns prevented.
If you’re still not convinced that a PPM contract is better value for money than paying for repairs as and when they occur, take a look at our infographic which explains the true cost of breakdowns.
How Often Will My Machines Be Serviced?
We recommend that all types of bedpan washer are serviced twice annually as a minimum.
You may choose to have yours serviced just once a year to reduce costs, but we are confident that a twice-yearly service will guarantee that your bedpan washer is kept in good working order.
Your visits will be arranged at a time to suit you and organised in a way that will limit machine downtime as much as possible.
How Much Does A Planned Preventative Maintenance Contract Cost?
The cost of your contract depends on several factors.
Secondly, the size of your facility or hospital/care home group, and the subsequent number of machines that require servicing will affect the price of the contract.
To discuss your requirements and get an accurate quote for a PPM contract, please get in touch today.
How Can I Pay For A Maintenance Contract?
Again, this will depend on the size of and level of cover on your contract.
We can offer flexible invoicing options, including monthly, quarterly, and annually in advance.
Please get in touch to discuss your options.
Can Anyone Maintain My Bedpan Washer?
Technically – yes.
However, we would not recommend your ‘regular maintenance guy’ for this job if they have not received dedicated training on how to maintain these complex machines.
DDC Dolphin’s engineers have been trained to the highest standards and are experienced in building, installing, maintaining and repairing not just our own branded bedpan washers, but any similar machine.
In addition, anyone else you might call in to service your machine will only have to come to us for the replacement part required. Not only will you not have access to the 20% discount on parts that you get with a PPM contract, but they are likely to also put a mark-up on the cost of that part.
Do I Need To Have My Washer Disinfector HTM Tested?
HTM 2030 is a document outlining correct methods and procedures for all types of washer disinfectors in the Acute Healthcare Sector in the UK.
Essentially, HTM 2030’s function is to lay out exactly what’s expected of us as manufacturers and you as operators in order to minimise the risk of infection during the disposal/disinfection process.
Currently the document applies to the Acute Healthcare Sector only, so you only need to make sure your bedpan washer is tested to HTM 2030 standards if it is being used in a hospital setting – it does not apply to care homes or special schools.
However, these are the standards we now hold ourselves to in the manufacture of our machines, and as such we offer HTM testing as standard across all our PPM contracts, regardless of the level of cover.
What Is The Benefit Of Using A Scalematic Cartridge?
Limescale build-up is the biggest killer of washer disinfector equipment, especially in hardwater areas. Once it’s been allowed to build up, it will have caused significant damage to your machine, so there’s no going back – you’ll have to invest in a new one.
That’s why it’s important to use preventative measures such as a Scalematic cartridge – a limescale inhibitor which removes the calcium and magnesium from the water and minimises the build-up of limescale in your machine.
Not only will this extend the life expectancy of your machines, but it also saves on operational costs. If limescale is allowed to build up on the heating filament, it takes longer for the filament to be brought up to the required temperature, using more energy than usual and costing more money.
We recommend that Scalematics are replaced every 6 months. During servicing we will advise whether your cartridge needs replacing, depending on local water quality, to keep your machine working at its optimal level.
Do You Service Non-DDC Dolphin Machines?
Even if you don’t have a DDC Dolphin bedpan washer, our engineers are trained to service all brands of machine.
We can also offer Planned Preventative Maintenance contracts on non-DDC Dolphin machines.
We hope we’ve answered any questions your may have about maintaining your washer disinfector – but if you have any other queries, please do get in touch!