by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | November 04, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
GE maintains a Multi-Vendor Services Center of Excellence in Arlington, Texas that serves as a training facility for those techs. There, techs train on nearly 50 different pieces of equipment installed in the facility, according to DeGraff. “This is in addition to field-based training programs that include many more non-GE systems,” says DeGraff. “The TCOE is also home to a parts repair operation that handles more than 700 repairs each year.”
The techs servicing non-GE imaging equipment have on average more than 20 years of experience on other OEM products and receive an additional 15,000 hours of training annually on non-GE systems. Those techs are well-stocked with parts from GE’s $30 million supply consisting of more than 74,000 unique parts numbers from more than 200 suppliers, stocked in 59 warehouses across the country according to DeGraff.
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Yet, it’s not always a question of getting a part to fix a problem. Remote diagnosis of issues along with the possibility for remote repair also factors in or should factor in to the decision a hospital makes about who will service their equipment. According to DeGraff, GE online engineers utilize more than 40,000 broadband connections for more than 50,000 connected systems that ultimately resolve 40 percent of the issues that arise in less than 30 minutes.
GE is also leveraging technology to prevent problems before they occur. The company offers iCenter, a web-based application that provides information on maintenance history and asset utilization by consolidating inventory, planned maintenance compliance and performance comparisons, according to DeGraff. Complimenting that system is On- Watch which monitors and analyzes device performance to help identify any possible red flags before a problem escalates.
Relying on professionals for ProCare
According to Alisandra Rizzolo, vice president general manager of customer care for Stryker Corporation’s instruments division, while it’s very hard to predict when a piece of equipment will fail, by partnering with a quality service, hospitals can better manage costs since repairing an item is usually less expensive than replacing it.
Even better than repairing a piece of equipment is preventing its failure in the first place, thereby saving money on parts and eliminating unplanned downtime. Rizzolo identifies Stryker ProCare as a service the company offers to help do just that. “Stryker ProCare’s preventative maintenance services help hospitals take control of their costs by maximizing the equipment’s life-cycle,” she says. “Our highly-trained service team provides on-site equipment testing and works with hospitals to evaluate how equipment is being cleaned and stored to identify solutions to ensure the total cost of ownership is optimized.”