Last month’s column discussed how to mitigate downtime and repair costs by predicting and preparing. This month, I would like to apply the principle to migrating ultrasound service to in-house. Since we pioneered this type of program, well over a decade ago and have implemented countless more over the years, we have the preparation and prediction down to a science.
A successful migration program is very complex and is customized to each organization’s needs and specifications, but there are some basics we can cover here that are applied universally to all situations.
The best way to begin is to partner with an organization with the experience, knowledge and resources to assist you in the endeavor. From concept to full implementation, we have the resources to ensure your success including consultants to work with you every step of the way, world class training, 24×7 technical support, supplemental field service and the largest inventory of Quality 360 certified ultrasound parts and probes in the industry.
The next step is to get support for the program from all stakeholders including the C-suite, clinical departments affected and clinical engineering. Having support for the program from all concerned parties makes the project exponentially easier and much more successful.
Now an analysis and inventory of the equipment within the facility should be performed. What do you have? Where is it? What is the contract or warranty status? Once this is complete, you need to decide when you are going to begin based on FTE resources, their current competencies and warranty and contract status. It is much easier to implement the program incrementally than all at once.
Once you have an analysis of all warranty and contract status, a calendar needs to be created with all expiration dates. This is utilized to schedule inspections of all systems nearing the end of a coverage period. Regardless of when the system was serviced, there is usually a time gap between the last service/maintenance visit and the expiration of coverage. Who knows what has broken, worn out or not reported to the current provider? These inspections should occur around 21 to 30 days before losing coverage and should include a field test of all transducers, inspection of all buttons/switches, main display evaluation, pins on transducer connector boards and mechanicals. Any deficiencies should be reported to your current provider and remedied prior to losing coverage. This is a critical step and can save thousands of dollars per unit if properly executed. Conversely, if this is not performed, it will cause a spike in maintenance costs once the program gets underway.
As mentioned earlier, this process is very complex and cannot be covered in the limited space provided here. These are some basics to follow when considering and beginning a migration program. For addition information on this or anything/everything ultrasound, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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