Quality Biomedical strengthens vent supply

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Monday, June 1, 2020

BOULDER, Colo. – The coronavirus pandemic and the urgent need for ventilators have given preventative maintenance new meaning—and Quality Biomedical a new purpose.

In mid-April, in the thick of the crisis, the company, which specializes in repair and preventative maintenance for respiratory therapy equipment, rolled out a new program to states and counties, offering to “store their ventilators responsibly,” says Jim Worrell, chief commercial officer.

“We keep them in power recycle so their batteries stay fresh and we monitor their PM cycles,” he said. “We have a web-based portal, so they can see how many vents they have with us, when they were last serviced and so forth, so they know they’re all in patient-ready condition.”

Ventilators made headlines in April, when it was revealed that more than 2,000 units in the federal government’s stockpile were out of commission because they hadn’t been properly maintained.

Quality Biomedical’s services were already being leveraged by its HME provider customers during the crisis, particularly by larger providers who were able to use the company’s network of seven warehouses to shift equipment to hot spots quickly.

“We received a plethora of requests from HMEs,” Worrell said. “They had hospitals calling them for vents and they were calling us. They were buying them; they were renting them; they had units that needed service.”

To meet demand from customers, Quality Biomedical’s more than 68 technicians have been running three shifts instead of one, but they faced other challenges, such as getting the right parts from OEMs to service vents properly.

“We will be shipping just under 2,000 vents through May,” said PK Bala, president and CEO.

Quality Biomedical says the new program for states and counties will go a long way toward avoiding similar pitfalls during the next crisis, whether it’s another pandemic or a hurricane.

“There’s a crying need that we don’t repeat what we’re going through,” Bala said. “The solution we have is to use a technology platform and to use consolidated regional warehousing, so vents can be deployed when they’re needed.”