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The advantages of third-party service in a COVID-19 world

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 17, 2020
Business Affairs Parts And Service
From the August 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

These third-party providers have also experienced changes in the services they provide as a result of the pandemic’s effects. X-ray tube replacement, for instance, is dependent on utilization rates. Decreases in scanning will reduce the need for this service, along with other corrective maintenance tasks. Rather than doing less work for their customers, some independent service organizations are focusing their support in new areas.

“While there has been a reduction in elective procedures and while that work may be less on the repair side, what we did see was an increase in projects to support COVID-19 response efforts and increased focus equipment being used for treatment, like ventilators and patient monitors,” said LeAnne Hester, chief marketing officer at TRIMEDX.

Robert Moorey, TRIMEDX's senior vice president for customer delivery, added, “So it really wasn’t a decrease from a clinical engineering point, as it was a shifting of resources from one area of need to another area of need.”

Changes and decreases in medical services are seen as short-term, and although different parts of the U.S. are having varying degrees of success in their fight against the virus, many providers are beginning to resume their normal workloads.

Providers are implementing additional infection control and social distancing measures that differ by location and that service teams will have to adapt to and follow. Photo courtesy: Crothall
“We did see a decrease in service needs from our customers, but have experienced a steady increase since mid-June,” said Ted Lucidi, CBET and clinical marketing and commercial specialist for Innovatus Imaging’s Centers of Excellence for Ultrasound and MRI Coil Repair, Radiography, Design and Manufacturing.

Prepping for onsite visits
The need for social distancing has led many service providers to avoid on-site visits and preventative maintenance unless absolutely necessary. In such situations, service engineers will don masks and other PPE to stay safe and keep the people they interact with safe.

Many service organizations have adopted their own policies around the use of PPE, but Pete Strimaitis, chief operating officer for Alpha Source Group, says the best approach is to abide by the protocols implemented by the healthcare facility.

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