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Finding the right OEM service partner

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 08, 2022
Parts And Service
From the August 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Canon also partnered with Barracuda for cybersecurity support and PartsSource to offer its customers access to parts distribution services.

“As the needs of healthcare institutions get more complex, it’s essential that our service keep pace, and continue to provide our customers with the peace of mind that their systems are up and running properly and efficiently, with the parts they need, and that the systems, networks and patient information are secure,” said Dominic Smith, vice president of service field and sales at Canon Medical Systems USA, in a statement.

Servicing end goals
With any service agreement, the goal is to maximize the effective use of the equipment in ways that lower a provider’s overhead and help it build up its care capabilities. The long-term goal should be to establish service agreements, throughout the hospital or health system, that complement each other without creating vulnerabilities or unwanted redundancy.

“You have to look at the whole cost of servicing devices, not just the OEM costs, third party servicing costs and in-house costs,” said McCallum. “If we are not looking across that whole continuum, then I think all of us are failing to drive costs down.”

Staying on top of equipment updates is also critical, even when the technology has reached end-of-life. Philips’ Stevens recommends providers seek out OEM partners that offer evergreen programs, which are designed to keep technology up to date.

“These evergreen programs extend the useful life of equipment while avoiding major upgrade requirements,” he said. “In these instances, we are often able to fix a problem and update software remotely, sometimes in a matter of minutes.”

Looking ahead, cutting edge capabilities will increasingly reshape the way medical equipment is serviced. “Traditional service will always be there as an essential component of this, but with new technologies and the advancement of AI algorithms, remote monitoring and the like, we will be able to personalize the service to the machine, to the hospital, to the assets,” said GE’s El-Demerdash.

As maintenance agreements move further away from the old break-fix contracts that are already shrinking in the rearview mirror, providers must establish clear communication with their OEM service partners. They should be upfront about their service expectations, and work together to customize agreements that enable them to effectively respond to changes.

“We understand that equipment needs are unpredictable, and we need to be ready to respond to all of them,” said Thakkar.

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