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What OEMs want you to know before signing a CT service agreement

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 08, 2023
CT Parts And Service

In its CentriCare package, Siemens Healthineers asks providers when they are working so that they can schedule their maintenance services at times that won’t disrupt patient throughput.

“When the system is not available is when we do planned maintenance efforts,” said Lothert. “In addition, updates and upgrades are part of our non-obsolescence approach. All those things that we do without the system really being broken could take away hours from the operational day to day.”

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Certain services, such as those involving software issues, no longer require on-site visits and can be fixed remotely via system configurations, upgrades, log file reboots, and patches. Service providers can even instruct in-house biomed and IT teams remotely on how to address these and other issues. “As you can imagine, we're saving so many hours of engineers flying over the world or traveling,” said Philips’ Leertouwer.

Like with parts replacement, healthcare providers should inquire about the intricate details of these services, and how a service provider’s offerings can meet their specific needs within their budgets. UIH, for example, offers software upgrades for life.

Ultimately, an effective preventive maintenance plan comes down to how well providers know their CT systems, including what procedures they are primarily used for and how often. While all should conduct preventive maintenance checks at least once a year, those that rely on their scanners frequently and for complex procedures should invest in a service agreement that includes two or more maintenance checks, along with resources like remote monitoring for those that play a highly critical role in their operations.

It is this criticality that is the deciding factor in the specific servicing needs a healthcare system requires, and which service provider is best matched to meet those needs, according to Jeff Bundy.

“The key to everything about service is really to understand at the end of it that there's a patient, and that's the mentality we have; and all the things that we put in place are to make sure that the patients can get scanned as soon as possible and then their lives are not disrupted,” he said.

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