How often do you calibrate the scales at your medical facility? If it's less than annually, you need to get them calibrated more often. Inaccurate scales present a range of problems and can be dangerous to patients. If you make a medical error as a result of a an incorrect weigh-in, you could have a lawsuit on your hands. Scales become inaccurate more often than you'd think--even if they're the best of the best. Here are three reasons why you should call in a calibration service on a regular basis.
Obesity Is Rising
Most doctor's offices have scales that can weigh several hundreds of kilos. However, what many doctors don't realise is that the accuracy of the scales goes down when a patient's weight goes up. One US study found that over 15% of scales were off by more than 2.3 kg when weighing people of higher weights, which equates to 1 whole BMI unit. Given that obesity is rising, with almost 2 in 3 Australians overweight or obese, you'll need to have your scales calibrated more often than you may have needed to previously to ensure you're getting an accurate figure for larger patients.
Quality Scales Aren't Exempt
Some doctors and health managers mistakenly believe that buying premium quality scales allows you to avoid calibration. The truth is, while high quality scales may take longer to become uncalibrated, they still need to be checked regularly. All scales are subject to wear and tear, so they'll all become less accurate over time--particularly if your doctor's office has steady patient flow. If your expensive scales have gone longer than a year without being checked, you should call in a calibration services team at your earliest convenience.
Inaccuracy Can Be Fatal
Ultimately, it's important to get your medical scales calibrated as often as you can afford because it only takes one wrong measurement to seriously affect a patient's life. In one US state, a research team discovered that around 320 patients had received incorrect medication doses, and 1.3% of those patients required additional treatment as a result. If your medical team prescribes a risk-laden medication at the wrong dosage as a result of an incorrect weigh-in, you could be putting a patient's life at risk. Even if a patient survives a medical error, they may also choose to bring legal action against you, which can lead to costly payouts as well as job losses.