In working with X-ray users to upgrade their analog equipment with digital radiography (DR) panels, we've noticed that, at times, there can be a little confusion on the service/tech support end of things. The primary reason for this seems to be reconciling the on-site X-ray equipment service most of the imaging field is accustomed to with the remote service support that DR upgrade packages offer.
To help bring more clarity, we'll break down the differences, pros, and cons of both on-site and remote service support styles.
What’s the same?
Both support styles, of course, get you in contact with a professional who can offer a solution to your DR problem. This is, essentially, the only thing on-site and remote support have in common.
Where the Work Is Done
As the name suggests, with on-site support an engineer comes to your site to diagnose and resolve your issue. With remote support, because DR panels and workstations function with no moving parts, completely through software and a network connection, an engineer can log into your workstation from their own office, make the diagnosis, and, generally, resolve the issue from there.
After you place a call to an on-site service provider, there can be a wait of several hours or even until the next day for the engineer to arrive. With remote service, there is no travel time and the typical service call can be closed in an hour or two.
Because of the travel involved, expenses like meals, fuel, and lodging are built into (or billed in addition to) the price for an on-site service plan. Under a remote plan, these costs would only be incurred in the event that a site visit was required (ex. if your workstation were rendered inoperable by flooding, power surge, or fire).
Where On-Site Support Wins
On-site support provides the more personal touch of a face-to-face interaction.
Where Remote Support Wins
Remote support solves problems faster and saves the expense of travel. Depending on which provider you choose, service is frequently covered for the first year with the purchase of the DR kit.
Most people in the imaging field have relied on on-site support for years and, in many cases, received excellent service. There is certainly something to be said for the peace of mind that comes with shaking hands with the person that will be solving your issue and watching them work. On the other hand, when that work will be done with a keyboard and mouse, there isn't much to see and the benefits of the personal touch begin to pale next to the time, cost, and disrupted patient schedule that resulted from getting it.
If you're on the cusp of making your X-ray system(s) digital, remote service support is just one more benefit of DR that you can take advantage of. The time and cost you'll save will be well worth adjusting to a new style of service.
To learn even more about taking your X-ray digital with a DR panel: