By Bill Kollitz
Bill KollitzInnovatus Imaging
While these letters might not produce tears like a true “Dear John,” they can wreak almost as much emotional havoc, as well as financial. With some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) discontinuing the support for their computerized radiography (CR) systems and related hardware, we now have to find the money to upgrade to new and more expensive technology. And, for many of us, the money and resources are just not there.
The leading question for all of us when this happens should be “Are there options and ways to maintain the status quo?” Instead of the more stressful question, “Where are we going to find the money to upgrade before time runs out?”
At Innovatus Imaging, we focus on answering the first question, “What are the options and how can imaging facilities maintain quality care for patients without immediately upgrading?”
When facing end of life issues with your radiography equipment, here are some things to consider:
There are fantastic options for end of life support and many of these options are not going away anytime soon. Even though the OEMs are not supporting past generations of their CR systems, there are third-parties that do. Weigh the cost of their support services against the cost of upgrading. Chances are you will find it is much more cost effective to stay the course with what you have until you know precisely what you will need 12 or 24 months down the road.
Before you choose an end of life (EOL) supplier, ask how long they intend to provide EOL support. Is there a long-term commitment from leadership? Are they phasing out too? A key question to ask is how many current clients they have for these legacy systems. If you will be one of a few for a given provider, they might be a risky choice. If they have a lot of customers, the risk of them phasing out support and leaving you alone yet again is much more slim.
Holding out on an upgrade may pay off. We have seen DR upgrade and retrofit prices drop considerably in just the last 12 to 18 months. So, if you can sustain your equipment with EOL maintenance and service for 12 months, or even 24 months, your chances of upgrading to DR at costs far less than those paid by the early adopters will continue to grow.
No matter where you are with your CR systems and hardware, and how you secure EOL support, keep in mind you do have choices. You have time, you have options, and you can save money by slowing down the pressure to change and developing a plan that works for your clinicians, your facility, and you!
Bill Kollitz has been in the imaging device industry for more than 20 years, serving in product management for Glaxo Smith Kline, General Manager for Bayer MultiVendor Service and most recently as President/COO of Innovatus Imaging. He currently oversees all radiography and MRI maintenance and repair services for the Innovatus Imaging Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh, PA. More information about Innovatus Imaging can be found at innovatusimaging.com or by calling 844-687-5100.
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