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Cost Containment Corner - Selecting an OEM service provider: 3 crucial factors

August 19, 2015
From the August 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

2. Process
Ideally, your OEM provider will establish a process that replicates service across multiple equipment types. MRI scanners and CT scanners from different manufacturers should receive the same level of service regardless of the OEM provider. Some OEM providers will offer multi-vendor services, enabling their engineers to maintain all equipment from a variety of manufacturers in this fashion. Communication should be integral to the service provider’s process. The best OEM providers encourage hospitals to be forthright with their service needs so they, in turn, can provide customized, well-priced solutions. The earlier OEM providers learn about new initiatives and service needs, the better they can design a service solution aligned with the hospital’s objectives. And OEM providers should seek open and consistent feedback from hospitals. This may be done either directly or through customer satisfaction surveys throughout the engagement, to allow for midstream adjustments that ensure that service solutions continue to address needs.

3. Service Offerings
A final criterion for selecting an OEM service provider is flexibility. OEMs should be able to tailor offerings to any level of need. Whether a hospital requires a CT scanner in an ER department to be operational 24/7, or an imaging center needs a piece of equipment functioning from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. – the OEM should offer a custom service strategy that best suits the customer and best serves the patient. In today’s competitive market, OEM service providers are investing in a variety of service capabilities that help differentiate them, such as remote services, customer service portals, system utilization and asset tracking, software updates, clinical education, and an array of technical training for in-house teams. Hospitals should seek providers that have expanded their service offerings in recent years to take advantage of the many new capabilities available today.

About the author: Rob Stevens is the general manager of Imaging Systems Customer Services for Philips North America.

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