Preventative Maintenance

The Access to Communication and Technology (ACT) service is a specialist assessment service that has responsibility for provision of Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) and subsequently, ongoing maintenance of EAT that is often quite complex in nature and difficult for the patient and carers to cope with. This complexity can often give rise to system loss, damage and malfunction.

The ACT database shows that the more technically complex the system, the more likely it is that there will be fault calls. ACT is a regional service and so when a fault call comes in, the service is challenged to respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. In addition, it may be possible to fix the fault remotely, if both caller and ACT understand the problem that is being reported. This suggests that where the system is especially complex, it is worth taking extra steps to ensure that the system is as robust as possible, with

  • adequate issue documentation
  • a proactive policy with regard to maintenance (herein referred to as ‘preventative maintenance’).

The purpose of this paper is to describe the successful implementation of  documentation and preventative maintenance for Robert, a 16 year old boy with Cerebral Palsy. Since initial assessment 14th June 2001 (and up to 8th July 2010) there have been 75 contacts with ACT, including 1 professional contact, 2 proxy contacts, 11 technical contacts and 60 clinical reviews. There have been 63 requests for workshop support and 22 equipment requests including 2 in relation to EC and 20 for AAC. There is a preventative maintenance contact planned for 26th August 2010.

Robert is unable to advocate for himself, he uses a variety of environments, and people don’t always know who to contact when things go wrong. Parts of the system have been provided by ACT, and other parts have been provided by other agencies. ACT has produced a document that goes with him wherever he goes, and a hard copy is kept in ACT and another copy is stored electronically on the patient database at ACT.

The document has three main functions as follows:

  • to identify the part that is causing the problem
  • to identify who owns the part
  • to identify who to contact if there is a problem

Robert was discharged from ACT in April 2009. At the preventative maintenance contact in August 2010, the results of this way of working can be assessed by:

•         mapping the ACT activity post-discharge

•         looking at Robert’s level of satisfaction using a Likert-style scale with symbols

•         comparing current data re: demand on service with baseline data

At RAATE 2010, the results of this successful intervention will be presented in full.

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