In both instances, the commitment to build a service program from within is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The option to pause or stop at any step in the program’s implementation is one of the most enticing reasons to take this approach. In most cases, it’s even possible to create an a la carte program where some service functions are brought in house while others remain part of a smoothly running, existing operation.
Step-by-step guide to creating an in-house imaging equipment service program
For the sake of clarity, let’s look at two possible scenarios for facilities that are part of a larger healthcare system:
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Trauma Level 1 & 2 hospitals – Picture a well-established medical facility in a major metropolitan area. Their installed fleet consists of a variety of MRI and CT scanners as well as X-ray machines and other medical imaging equipment. These systems vary in age from brand new to several years old. The department has management and operational personnel, a sizeable team of BMETs, and one or more on-staff imaging engineers.
Considering the potential benefits of bringing their service program in house, they decide to develop a plan and implement it as quickly as possible.
Outreach locations – Imagine a small (but growing) imaging department in a suburban hospital or other healthcare facility. They have a minimal fleet of installed imaging devices, all currently covered by restrictive OEM or ISO service contracts. Some of these systems, however, are nearing the manufacturer’s stated end of life. Staff includes an imaging department manager and a handful of BMETs, but no in-house engineer.
In this care, it makes more sense to create a long-term, phased-in approach with the flexibility to pause and resume the program’s implementation as needed to accommodate differences in the facility’s actual growth versus initial projections.
The step-by-step plan in both cases is nearly identical, with the only difference being the total time for implementation and the expectation of pauses along the way. For the outreach facility, there would also be an increased need to opt for a la carte services based on actual, versus predicted, circumstances.
The resulting plans would look something like this:
1. Working with a reputable provider partner, build a detailed plan for implementation.
2. Evaluate current systems and identify those immediately available (or soon to be available) for in-house service and those which still fall under the restrictions of an OEM or other service provider contract.