by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | November 04, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
No one ever got fired for buying . . .
If you’ve been in the health care field for any length of time, you’ve likely heard the old adage, “No one ever got fired for buying GE.”While it’s impossible to confirm the veracity of the statement and any number of OEMs could fill in that blank in place of GE, the general sentiment holds true. That is, there’s less risk going with the company that manufactured the machine when making a purchase or entering into a service relationship.
In that, the OEMs have a decided leg-up on ISOs. But they’re backing that name recognition and brand loyalty with increased and expanded service options in order to keep existing customers and bring on new ones.
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Bud DeGraff, general manager of diagnostic and clinical services at GE Healthcare probably appreciates the sentiment behind the statement. While he wasn’t asked the question directly, he did point to GE’s reputation as something that he thinks sets the company ahead of the competition. He addressed the company’s insights, experience, data and tools that help hospitals to improve their business, bottom line and the ever-critical patient outcome and experience.
“Clearly, it’s not business as usual,” DeGraff says. “That’s true for GE and the hospitals we serve. In the past, we’ve focused on helping to increase the reliable uptime performance of advanced medical technologies. We’ll continue to provide that support in a costefficient manner. But we know that in today’s environment, our customers need more. They need sustainable improvements in performance that will help them meet business objectives over the long term.”
DeGraff went on to explain that when GE partners with hospitals, the answer for improving performance rests in three key operational areas; managing assets, improving patient workflow and workforce utilization. “In this ‘not business as usual’ environment, we are focused on helping our customers improve the financial and operation health of their enterprise,” he says.
And in a turnaround from the direction many hospitals are going— taking more responsibilities in-house — DeGraff says that by enabling facilities to outsource maintenance and management of their clinical engineering services, the company can help to reduce the operating costs associated with clinical assets by 15 to 20 percent.
GE, like most OEMs offering service in today’s highly competitive health care environ, has taken steps to provide parts and service beyond their brand. Although they have a large number of service techs dedicated to servicing GE products, there are also techs covering competitors’ equipment. “GE has more than 1,000 service engineers, trained to work on non-GE equipment,” says DeGraff.