by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | February 18, 2020
Siemens Healthineers is offering a new service aimed at ensuring medical imaging equipment maintenance without disrupting workflow during critical hours of patient care.
Known as CentriCare, the patient-centric service contract portfolio enables providers to select periods of time for up to seven days a week and 16 hours a day when the service will not interfere in critical hours of care for non-urgent service requests. The goal is maximum availability and uptime with minimal clinical service disruption during times when patient care is most busy.
"Customers [are] getting upset for being billed for overtime hours, nickel and dimed for things that were out of scope, all kinds of things that traditional organizations haven’t done very well and charged extra for," Matthew McCallum, VP of business management and marketing for customer service at Siemens Healthineers North America, told HCB News. "We’ve taken a look at all that and built a service offering that eliminates the conflict between us trying to get on the equipment during the day and their patients getting scanned."
The hours of protected coverage for a facility often overlap with its operational hours, creating delays that can compromise patient care delivery.
CentriCare offers three flexible service plans that are tailored to the required level of equipment availability and defined hours of operation for an individual customer, who is guaranteed up to 100 percent uptime during protective care hours by CentriCare. For every hour service interruption that takes place during this time, customers can access credits through CentriCare’s Entrust Program to apply to current and future invoices or other products and services offered by Siemens.
The service contract portfolio also offers a single vendor point-of-contact through either a dedicated VIP phone line, or a clinical or technical concierge expert that will assist the customer with tasks such as onboarding, service escalations and incident reporting.
The CentriCare service contract portfolio is currently available in select regions of the United States, including the Northeast, with plans to roll it out across the entire country very soon.
"We are centering around, right now, the large metropolitan areas, like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, where we have a critical mass of engineers and inventory levels," said McCallum. "What this does is hold us accountable to performing at a higher level. We’ve narrowed the scope. It’s challenging in certain rural areas where we may only have one engineer. If we shift that engineer, we’re not going to have staff during the day. We do intend to roll this out across the country very shortly though."