Whether your budget won’t allow for a full service agreement or if you simply have a higher risk tolerance than many, you have choices when it comes to picking service for your medical imaging equipment.
If you prefer to manage your equipment risk yourself, paying for service calls and parts as you go, the following are some pointers that can help you achieve the best results possible from your time and materials service.
Make a PM Schedule
We're never shy about putting this reminder out there because it's SO true. Preventative Maintenance (PM) visits are crucial. They need to be done regularly and consistently. They find and correct problems when they are small so they do not become bigger. You wouldn’t just stop getting oil changes for your car. Why would you stop getting PMs performed on your imaging equipment?
As you shop around for the best provider, you'll notice that service companies are always quick to schedule PM visits. This is because they work and ultimately reduce service costs for equipment. Here’s a list of our minimum recommended PMs per modality
Make a Plan
You have patients to see and staff to manage, the last thing you want to deal with is paperwork. If you don’t already have a plan in place for when you need a service call, make one. This includes setting up a time and materials agreement with a provider in advance. You don't have to pay anything in advance. All this agreement entails is a phone call or a short meeting to set you up in the provider’s system. Contact information, addresses, system serial numbers, recent service history- information like this can all be given in advance and put on file to speed up the process of scheduling that eventual service call.
On top of keeping your service provider informed, a clear plan of action for service issues will be valuable for your staff. Who should be their first call for problems with the X-ray room? The CT scanner? Who can get them a new brake handle for the C-arm? A little bit of planning will go a long way toward saving time on both ends of a service call.
Know Your Parts Availability
The process of a service repair can be broken down in to 2 major components: 1) Engineer labor/travel and 2) Replacement parts. We've already discussed a couple of ways to help keep the former to a minimum,but what about the latter?
Your equipment is a machine and it will eventually need replacement parts. If you want to have these parts available quickly, you'll need to find a provider before you run into problems. Not only that, you'll need to confirm that the provider actually has the parts you're most likely to need on a regular basis.
Here at Block Imaging, we are constantly adding inventory. Whether you choose to source your parts from us or another vendor, this is an important factor to consider and to check on periodically. We recommend you contact your rep at least once a quarter to get an update on their inventory of your "hot list" of parts.
If you find that time and materials is a good fit for your budget and your appetite for risk, make sure you’re going about it smart. Not having a plan in place is like gambling. Luck eventually runs out.
If you're ready to start a conversation about choosing the best service agreement for your imaging equipment, contact us. We'd love to help. If you'd rather continue the research on your own, check out our free imaging equipment service buyer's guide or take a peek at our back log of service topic blogs for all modalities.