Following are five key questions to ask about MRI coil repair processes to help you make wise, informed decisions that you, your team and your patients can live with.
1. Cable harnesses
Question: Are raw cables replaced or are they spliced?
Replacing costs more, however; the longevity of the repair and life extension of the coil more than compensate for the extra money and help to lower the overall cost of ownership. Spliced cables can fail more often as they can separate over time, meaning more frequent repairs, more down time and potentially more performance issues. Sustainable processes replace all raw cable harnesses versus splicing which results in higher first-time fix rates.
2. Testing methods
Question: What testing methods are used?
And are they capable of finding potential hidden electrical issues? Simplistic testing often fails to find additional issues affecting coil performance. Look for modular testing methods which break down the system and test each section to the component level assuring the whole system is functioning optimally.
3. Source of replacement parts
Question: What is the source of mechanical parts used in the repair? Are they sourced from soft molding and machining or 3D printing?
While 3D printing can increase speed and accessibility, this method may not always last as long as molding and machining. Its critical to know how parts are sourced for your repairs as they can affect the longevity, cost of ownership and future downtime.
4. Inspection processes
Question: Does the supplier tear apart the cable or use a less or non-invasive method to inspect the quality and condition of each coil?
You should insist on procedures such as those used at the Innovatus MRI Center of Excellence that use an X-ray device to view cabling structures and avoid unnecessary disassembly which can increase the risk of other failures and extend the time for triage and repair.
Question: What experience, research and processes are behind the repair?
This is perhaps the biggest difference in suppliers. Do the technicians have decades of experience vs. basic skills, and what testing processes, protocols and simulators are used for quality assurance regarding the repair? With more than 20 years of manufacturing experience and research to identify best-in-class methodology and testing, Innovatus applies some of the most proven processes available.
More details about these issues and other considerations for optimizing MRI repair outcomes for your inventory can be found in our report titled “Why Centers of Excellence for Imaging Device Repairs Matter,” listed under resources at www.innovatusimaging.com.
Joseph Habovick is Vice President of MRI for Innovatus Imaging MRI Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this role, he advances programs and processes for elevating the sustainability and efficiencies of coil repair processes and programs. His expertise spans more than 20 years in medical device repair and management and includes experience as a clinical professional in radiation oncology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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