To evaluate the role of metrology in health care facilities, a study was performed among Portuguese hospitals to identify and analyze issues concerning the concept of metrological traceability. The discussion is structured around a dataset obtained from a survey questionnaire covering 44 public and private Portuguese hospitals.
The principal results of our analysis include identifying some key indicators that apply to certified/accredited hospitals. Test reports and calibration certificates were the main metrological traceability documents required by the hospitals. The acquisition of medical measuring instruments with conformity reports depended on
the type of hospital. Maintenance was considered the most relevant issue for private hospitals, whereas for the public hospitals this issue is less important than trust in the supplier. For public hospitals, purchase price was the most important requirement. For hospitals that acquire calibrated measuring instruments, only 50 %
perform in-house calibration. We conclude that trust in supplier is associated with a lower overall budget for maintenance operations. The protocol established by hospitals to acquire measurement instruments does not reflect metrological concerns and the relationship between maintenance and metrological operation is not well established. Thus, we conclude that metrological traceability is largely absent in the daily considerations of health care professionals and facilities.
Maria do Céu Ferreira holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Faculty of Science and Technology; FCT, NOVA University of Lisbon. Since 1994, she is Metrologist at the Metrology Department of the Portuguese Institute for Quality (IPQ), having developed its activities in the areas of scientific and applied metrology, managing multi-disciplinary teams related with standards and measurements. Since 2008, Maria is in charge at Legal Metrology as Quality Manager and Assessment of the Metrological operations and verification bodies. Meanwhile, she founder and is responsible for the Portuguese Health Metrology committee, hosted by IPQ. Maria is a designated member of the Metrology Board of the Portuguese Engineers order and is Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the Lusófona University of Lisbon. Maria is the Portuguese member of the International Board of
Experts of the International Organization of Legal Metrology and is an active member of OIML, WELMEC and ISO. Her research
interests include all health metrological applications for ensuring traceability and new quality assured measurement methods.
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Metrology; Metrological Traceability; Measuring instruments, Health, Quality assurance