by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 20, 2023
For facilities that may have reservations about leaving the OEM for an independent servicer, Gill says partnering on a few scanners, as opposed to the full fleet, can be a great way to build up trust between the organizations.
Another benefit of ISOs, according to McCormick, is they tend to be more regionally focused and often have local parts inventories that allow them to respond quickly to replacement requests. He also asserts that ISO engineers on the ground level tend to have more technical expertise than their manufacturer counterparts.
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“They do not have access to OEM proprietary diagnostic tools, so they develop their ability to troubleshoot from experience,” he said. “This troubleshooting ability developed through years of diagnosing issues, using things like the equipment error logs and manuals, develops them into more well-rounded engineers.”
Where ISOs are limited is in the types of CT scanners they can service, with brand new ones and scanners less than five years old almost exclusively requiring the expertise of the OEM, which has access to the parts, materials, and service engineers trained to work on them.
Providers need to be transparent about their needs and ask questions about the benefits and risks that come with any of the ISO's customized contracts. (Photo courtesy of SouthWest Medical Resources)
But some independent servicers, like TRIMEDX, have partnerships with OEMs allowing them to access parts, resources, labor, and expertise to service and repair these systems.
“Our comprehensive management system may ultimately determine if a device should be serviced by an OEM, an in-house TRIMEDX team, or third-party. We use data to make our decisions and have the resources and relationships to provide the best solution for our clients,” said Rob Moorey, the company’s president of clinical engineering.
Whenever entering an agreement with an ISO, providers should question the servicer about their expertise in specific CT scanners and the resources at their disposal to ensure quality service. While affordability may be a principal appeal for choosing an ISO, do not put cost above quality, says Chris Kinnas, national service solutions manager for Block Imaging, which was recently acquired by Siemens Healthineers and CommonSpirit Health, and services scanners made by Siemens, as well as GE HealthCare, Hitachi, Philips, and Toshiba.