ACI Launches New Patient Advocacy Project

The ‘right to repair’ movement has merits, but lawmakers need to make important distinctions to keep consumers safe

Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI), a non-profit consumer and education and research organization, launched a new initiative to keep American consumers and patients safe from potentially dangerously and incorrectly repaired medical equipment. The Safe Repair Project will help to educate and to advocate for sensible policy solutions that ensure patient safety remains at the forefront of the right to repair debate.

“Patient safety is non-negotiable,” said Steve Pociask, President and CEO of the American Consumer Institute. “When you think of the ‘right to repair’ movement, most immediately think of repairing consumer electronics or farm equipment vital to many American’s livelihoods. But when it comes to the repair of critical medical equipment, accountability should be the priority, not cost savings.”

Pociask added, “Medical devices are complex machines that require expert training and federal oversight to conduct repairs and maintenance. But there is a lack of regulatory oversight on third-party servicers now, and expanding right to repair to include these products could jeopardize patient safety. We want to make sure policymakers understand the potential risks to patients if medical devices and surgical equipment are lumped into the same category as tractors and toasters.”  

The Safe Repair Project will endeavor to shed light on this important distinction in the right to repair debate and advocate for consumer-centric policies that ensure the welfare of consumers remains at the forefront of the United States policy.

Patient safety must be the foremost priority of the industries’ efforts to innovate the sector. When there are lives at stake, there is no margin for error. With approximately 131.3 million emergency room visits occurring annually, it becomes an imperative to uphold maintenance and repair standards for the equipment employed in patient care. By lending support to this coalition, we can amplify our collective endeavors and significantly enhance the protection of the American people.