Another useful metric which I have used is Repeat Repair (RR). This is a code assigned to a work order if the same type of failure has occurred to the same device within the past 30 days.
I think that we all agree that a specific device should not experience the same failure multiple times within a 30 day period. We would all cry “FOUL!” if our automobile broke in the same way after it just left the mechanic’s shop. The principle is the same for our medical devices.
Every technician should be trained to look for very similar events and code them as RR – Repeat Repair. In a blame-free work environment, this would not be seen as a way to fix blame, but to identify possible improvement opportunities. There are several possible root causes that may be identified from closer examination of the Repeat Repairs in a given facility. Maybe a specific technician needs additional training in a particular area. Maybe there is another problem in the device that is causing the same symptom each time and no one is looking deep enough to find the real problem. Possible there is an environmental problem which is causing the same failure from an external cause, such as overheating, ventilation, humidity, or a utility problem. Maybe there is a bad batch of parts.
Whatever the cause, it is very useful to have a mechanism for recording repetitive problems and have them flagged for closer scrutiny and deeper analysis. I have found that the quantity of RRs can form the basis for the analysis of the technician’s competency assessment – Fewer Repeat Repairs, the more competent the technician is on the work he or she is performing.