It should come as no surprise that your imaging equipment, just like a vehicle, requires regular maintenance to keep running. With a car, your transmission needs to be flushed, oil changed, filters cleaned, and windshield wiper fluid topped off. But sometimes, when we pick our vehicles up from a garage, and nearly every time when we see the mechanic’s bill, we begin to wonder exactly what was done to our cars. It is no different with medical imaging equipment.
All imaging systems need preventative maintenance (PM), but do we really know what work is being done?
Field Service Report (FSR)
Most engineering groups will be sure to leave a copy of their field service report (FSR) at the site with a technician or receptionist. The report will enumerate the things that were done to the system and, frequently, suggest things that the end user can do to help the system stay in good working order between PMs. Make sure you take the time to read over your FSR in full detail. If no report is given, contact the service group to obtain a copy right away.4 Key Points for Every PM Visit
To help ease your mind the next time your service group invoices you for a PM, here are four key points that should be a part of every PM visit:
Internal & External Cleaning – Dust bunnies love to live inside imaging equipment! They clog fans and cause overheating. This can also lead to slow system performance and even component damage. Your PM engineer needs to make sure filters are being cleaned or replaced to maintain system uptime.
Mechanical Testing – This portion of the PM addresses the needs of your system’s moving parts. Lubricating bearings, gears, and motors ensures smooth operation of parts. Added friction can cause component failures and breakage. Some parts may also need to be removed and reseated. Even a simple misalignment can result in a hard-down situation.
Performance Testing – Every system must provide quality images and ensure patient safety. Your PM engineer should be doing a dose check, electrical safety check, image quality check, and sometimes even a complete recalibration to keep maximum equipment performance.
Diagnostic Testing – Parts only last for so long. They deteriorate, wear down, leak, scratch, and eventually become unusable. Qualified Service Engineers are trained to pinpoint failing parts before they put your site in a hard-down situation.
If all of the above are addressed by your engineer in their last FSR, you can rest assured that they are taking the appropriate precautions to maximize your system’s uptime and the quality of your site’s patient care.
If the above steps are not in your engineer's last FSR, require that these be added to PM visits in the future or simply request Block Imaging start providing your preventative maintenace service. If you do your homework and pay attention to the details on your FSRs, you can avoid problems that could otherwise endanger equipment, profitability, and patient care quality.
Written by Gabe Viscomi
Gabe Viscomi is the Vice President of Service at Block Imaging. His goal is to provide imaging equipment users with outstanding service by leading, refining, and equipping an outstanding Block Imaging Service Team. Out of the office, Gabe prefers to spend his time with his wife and daughter, cheering on the athletes of his alma mater, MSU.