NOM 016 for tiny clinics and big hospitals
NOM-016 is the Mexican Official Standard that establishes the minimum infrastructure and equipment characteristics for hospitals and specialized medical care clinics. This is a guiding tool for the biomedical equipment of the facility to maintain, from an engineering perspective, the proper functioning of the medical services provided.
NOM-016 is a standard that is easy to understand and comprehend since it maintains a clear structure and is organized in sections by type of medical service, with which we can go to the section and/or sections that involve us and see the list of minimum requirements to ensure the good service and condition of the facility.
Regardless of whether it is a clinic or hospital, correct compliance with all applicable points of the regulations is required, where the biggest problem lies with the auditing body since the level of requirements is not proportional to the size of the establishment.
This triggers a series of complications for the staff of small clinics, although one might believe that in a health care center of this size it is much simpler to have adequate control of the systems and services, this is not the case. Often the work strategies that are used are based on an ingrained behavior that is already obsolete or, failing that, there are problems with the updating of the system with which they work.
This situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is very common for medical service facilities with lower capacity to be unaware of the need for a biomedical engineer in the facility and this causes managers to overlook the appropriate technical requirements.
Biomedical engineering personnel represents a fundamental part of any medical services unit, because they are responsible for interpreting, executing, monitoring, and maintaining compliance with the technical parameters determined in Mexican regulations.
This does not occur in the same way in hospitals, which despite having a greater capacity for care and having established biomedical equipment, usually do not have an adequate number of personnel to meet the daily needs that arise.
Under these circumstances, non-compliance with this rule brings with it a series of problems for the health care establishment as it affects the medical staff, patients, and building infrastructure. Putting the quality of services at risk due to lack of equipment, material, or a deficit in the facilities, which can trigger circumstances that put the lives of patients as well as those in charge of performing medical procedures at risk. All of this is extremely important since they are situations whose handling is truly meticulous and in most cases, people's lives are affected.
Even though there are regulations that punctually indicate each one of the minimum requirements for a health center, regardless of its capacity, it is possible to have the feeling that some of these are not essential for the activities that are developed, and consequently the importance of compliance with these items or even of the personnel in charge of them is underestimated. It is important to emphasize that these activities should be carried out and fulfilled in the best possible way, since they are an essential part of providing a quality medical service, taking full care of patients' health and of the personnel in general related to and hospitals.