Sponsored by Innovatus Imaging
By Matt Tomory, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
While some of us in health care may still feel stuck in 2020 like a never-ending streaming of the movie “Groundhog Day,” there is a way to pause some of the hecticness associated with maintaining imaging device inventory. Simply put, it’s all about access.
I don’t mean access to more equipment, more repair services or even more capital budgets to gear up for another episode of the unknown. I simply mean more access to the parts you need when you need them to keep your current devices running at top performance. This might seem like a simple reality we already enjoy, but it’s really not. The inability to access parts for imaging devices is more pervasive than many may think.
One of the most common delays in getting ultrasound probes or MRI coils repaired and back in operation is waiting for the parts needed to complete a repair that will result in a device that meets the design intended by the OEM. Waiting for even a very small part, such as a housing component, can take days or weeks. They are not available from device manufacturers. Ironically, the cost of such a part can be a few dollars but the cost of that device being out of operation can quickly add up to a few thousand dollars per day.
Traditionally, our industry has compensated for these delays by harvesting broken or scrapped products and using these in place of new, uncompromised parts. This model is not a sustainable solution as no repair provider can assure repairability and quality if the parts don’t hold up as needed. In some cases, harvested parts don’t hold up for long and can lead to latent failures down the road.
One of the founders of Innovatus Imaging, Dennis Wulf, identified this issue decades ago. He invested in in-house talent and a state-of-the-art machine shop at our 25,000-square-foot facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This investment has enabled our team to fabricate replacement parts as needed, keeping repair processes moving forward and, in most cases, getting devices back to imaging departments quickly. Operations at this facility include rapid prototyping, injection molding and precision machining. Parts produced onsite are used for in-house repair processes and for new specialty devices manufactured at our Denver, Colorado facility.
At the Innovatus Imaging Center of Excellence for MRI Coil Repair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we have similar capabilities through our mechanical design, rapid prototyping, parts fabrication, 3D printing and custom painting operations. These capabilities stem from our heritage as an MRI coil manufacturer. They enable us to quickly repair and restore the coils we receive for repair – which often arrive in multiple pieces, sometimes in as many as 10 for a single coil.
While we’re proud of the vision and legacy from the leaders of Innovatus Imaging regarding parts fabrication, we’re most proud of what it means for our clients. Having access to a virtually fully internalized supply chain for replacement parts means quicker repairs, sustainable quality and the ability to keep imaging devices operating when patients need them most, which is nothing short of 24/7.
As health care facilities still scramble to have all the capacity and equipment they need to care for COVID-19 patients along with patients with other illnesses and injuries, we believe it is important for all support companies, including all of us in the repair and service industry, to constantly innovate new methods, processes and outcomes. By doing so, we can keep our industry moving forward at a critical time for patients and providers alike. We can assure patient access to the diagnostic services they need to move forward.
Matt Tomory is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Innovatus Imaging. Contact him directly at email@example.com.
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