Top 6 most desirable qualities of equipment service providers

January 16, 2012
By Jennifer Daugherty

The proper repair and maintenance of medical equipment is essential to health care providers’ livelihoods. If a piece of equipment is down, it can result in hours of lost productivity and thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Therefore, choosing the right service provider is vital.

But this can be hard to do. Open the yellow pages and the choices are overwhelming. Google “MRI” and you will pull up a plethora of service providers, all claiming to be the best. What qualities should you insist on as a consumer?

Depending on what type of medical equipment you own, the list of desirable qualities may be long. But for the sake of space, we have narrowed it down to the six most desirable qualities all equipment service providers should possess no matter what type of equipment they maintain.

1. Integrity – the service provider should always have the client’s best interest in mind and work equally hard for all their clients regardless of how they finance the service (i.e. annual contract versus time & materials). The service provider should be ethical and honest and perform only the maintenance required using the appropriate number of technicians.

2. Credibility – the service provider must be reliable and trustworthy, which includes arriving on time and delivering the services promised in a professional manner; references of satisfied clients should be available upon request. The relationship between the service provider and the client should be that of a partnership.

3. Experience – the service provider should be familiar with the specific make and model of the diagnostic imaging equipment in need of repair or maintenance, have experience maintaining the equipment, and be prepared with all possible replacement parts. The service provider should send the most qualified technician to repair each specific piece of equipment.

4. Efficiency – the service provider should be respectful of the end-user’s need to manage daily tasks by arriving within a reasonable amount of time to repair the equipment; just as important, the service provider should repair the equipment in the least amount of time allowable. The service provider should also communicate openly about repair progress and/or potential issues with the end user during the service call in case a different course of action is needed.

5. Cost – the service provider should provide a fair and competitive rate based on the regional average of similar services; in addition, the price quoted should be the price on the invoice, unless otherwise communicated. All costs, such as travel, after-hour, weekend and holiday rates, or resupply charges, should be disclosed up front.

6. Guarantee/Warranty – the service provider should offer a guarantee or warranty for the repair or maintenance performed to ensure the client is getting the best repair and support service possible; the guarantee or warranty should be in writing and describe what is covered and for what period of time.

Health care providers and health care facilities must do their due diligence before choosing the right service provider for a particular piece of medical equipment. One way to narrow down the list of prospective service providers is to ask for references. Getting first-hand knowledge about the service provider directly from their customers may help you to make a more informed decision. Also, schedule a face-to-face meeting with a representative from the service provider and don’t be reluctant to ask some hard-hitting questions. In conclusion, since the medical equipment in question is vital to your business, it is imperative that the equipment receive the best repair and maintenance available at the best price possible.

Jennifer Daugherty is a Business Development Coordinator for The Remi Group LLC, located in Charlotte, N.C. Since 1998, The Remi Group has been providing comprehensive Equipment Maintenance Management Programs (EMMP) to five major market segments: health care, government, education, commercial, and financial.