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Many customers have contacted me after having lost all of the settings and presets on their ultrasound system. The ultrasound technician/sonographer cannot perform a study using their usual methods when the system doesn’t work like it used to. This can happen when any biomed or clinical engineer performs a simple software reinstall. My first question when I get the call as a technical support specialist is did they perform a backup? The answer is usually no.
Performing a system backup is one of the most critical parts of performing a preventative maintenance (PM). The backup will keep most of the settings that are needed to insure the system runs correctly. As we have stated in the past and reinforce during all our classes – document, document, document. You can never have too many backups and printouts. Backups normally do not take a long time to complete so there is no reason to skip performing them.
Along with the backups, it is mandatory to print out the settings and option keys. While most of these items are on the backup, there is no assurance. Having a hard copy of the network and options keys will insure that you can get the system functional.
Specific systems will require additional backup as well. An example is the GE Logiq E9, this system does not back up the TCP/IP settings, so a printout is needed. Another is the Philips IU22/IE33 where the options key requires a separate backup.
The question is, why are these backups so important?
Many times, a system will become slow and unresponsive, give a boot error or the back-end processor fails. Any of these failures will require that you load software. At this point, you may not have access to the information on the drive. All you can do is perform a clean install. If you do not have the necessary information, you cannot complete the install.
Imagine not having the options key and having to contact the OEM to retrieve it. Not only does this take time, it may cost an additional fee as well. Or the DICOM settings are missing and they cannot pull up the Worklist or send to PACs. It then becomes necessary to call IT and wait for them to get the information. The delay does not make you look efficient or effective.
Is it necessary to have a current backup?
The short and long answer is, “Yes.” Settings may have changed since the last PM or the software may have been upgraded. A newer version of software may not be able to load from an older backup. It is always the best action to have a current backup.
Remember the entire reason for having these backups and printouts is to insure that downtime is kept to a minimum. Backups help make simple installs run smoothly.
Be the hero and get the system back up as quickly and successfully as you can by always having a current backup and printout.
For more ultrasound technical tips and tricks, or to view technical support videos visit www.conquestimaging.com. Conquest Imaging Technical Support is available 24/7/365 at 866-900-9404.
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