Maintaining Assistive Technology to sustain quality
Astris PME Clinical Education Coordinator
Generally, we all enjoy receiving something new in its optimal condition and working order, be it a new home appliance, car or even a thriving plant to brighten up the home. However, ongoing care and attention is necessary to allow these things to function at its best, and therefore regular maintenance and repair is required. Assistive technology falls into the same category and the same considerations must be made to ensure safe and optimal working order. Assistive technology ranges from low-cost, high frequency usage and more complex types to facilitate daily life goals. Despite the type of technology, it is essential to ensure regular inspection and maintenance from an experienced technician to maintain its upmost working condition.
All assistive technology should come with a warranty which covers repairs and replacements of parts, if the equipment has failed at its function, in a set time frame while being used as intended. However, warranty does not cover maintenance and many situations that can lead to a failure, could be avoidable with proactive inspections on a regular basis. For example, moving parts, such as bolts and screws, can become loose, and if left unattended may cause additional stress on this area and lead to a failure. In addition, incorrect use of equipment can lead to premature wear and damage. Addressing this can result in a lengthy wait on repairs or replacement parts and often leave people without the use of their equipment, ultimately impacting the quality of health and wellbeing of the user, their supports and possibly the equipment itself.
Funding bodies of assistive technology are aware of and support the need for regular maintenance to keep people safe and engaged in life roles. The NDIS encourages participants to develop a maintenance schedule with the supplier of the assistive technology. It offers to take on board quoted maintenance schedules to include in participants’ plans at the time of planning and if not included, a reference guide on the estimated funding required of annual repairs.
It is recommended that at the time of delivery and set up, not only are you and your supports provided with education and training on the assistive technology, but you are also offered a scheduled maintenance program to support you with ensuring maintenance is carried out. This aims to avoid potential and foreseeable interruptions in the use of the equipment, safety risk to users and wait times for warranty claims or replacement.
Facilitating improvement in quality of life and engagement in daily activities through the use of assistive technology should not end at the time of delivery and set up. Astris PME offers multiple avenues for follow-up, preventative maintenance and service checks to continue to work with and support users of assistive technology. With a growing service team including experienced technicians, and workshops in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Young and Melbourne, after sales care includes both onsite and back-to-base maintenance service at showroom locations. Astris PME also have a “preventative maintenance plan”, which will ensure timely maintenance and follow up.
Speak to your Astris PME AT Consultant, your Plan Manager, and request to have this included in your plan. Contact Astris PME Service Department on 02 9135 6440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, for further details and pricing
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