Introducing Medical Devices to Patients

The Department of Defense www.defense.goc provides tips on how providers should introduce medical devices to patients. DOD suggests that when providers are prescribing or recommending medical devices to patients, healthcare providers need to give very clear instructions on how the patient should properly use the device.

The provider needs to tell the patient how to operate and maintain the device to help the patient stay on their treatment plan. The patient should be given user guides and manuals that are written in plain language and easy to understand. Written instruction plus photos and diagrams can be helpful to patients when they are trying to follow a new process.

When providers talk to patients about their devices:

  • Tell the patient how to operate and maintain the device according to the manufacturer’s directions
  • Be sure the patient, family, and caregivers thoroughly understand the instructions before they leave the medical office
  • Be sure to tell the patient that only trusted individuals may have access to their device and connect the device only to trusted networks
  • Suggest the patient turn off their device when not using it
  • Remind the patient to properly use and maintain the device to help keep it safe and secure
  • Install timely software upgrades if needed

 

Cybersecurity risks exist and can be infected or impacted by malware. Security software updates and patches must be applied so the device is not vulnerable to viruses. Malware on hospital computers, smartphones, tablets, and wireless devices can target patient data, monitoring systems, and even implanted patient devices.

Reduce the risk of failure due to cyberattack by:

  • Restricting unauthorized access to the network and networked medical devices
  • Monitor network activity for unauthorized use
  • Contact the device manufacturer if you identify a potential cybersecurity problem

 

If the device is no longer needed, or a new device is to be used, all stored health information on the device should be deleted.

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