por Diana Bradley
, Staff Writer | April 24, 2012
From the April 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Looking toward the future, Heagy predicts that information technology’s impact to medical imaging will continue at an incredible pace.
“There has been a great deal of information that decision makers haven’t had access to or had no idea how to use to their benefit or perhaps more importantly, how to use to their patients’ benefit,” says Heagy. “Particularly in the way we deliver contrast and its impact to image quality and diagnostic accuracy as well as, the way many different types of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment communicate and share patient data.”
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Quality assurance and patient safety can also be improved by connecting hospital information systems to contrast injectors, adds Hagg.
“It puts clinical data right in the hands of the radiologists and techs,” he explains. “IT-enabled injectors take information directly from RIS, PACS and EMR. Human error is reduced because protocols are created only once.”
Servicing and training get more intense
Before the economy’s downturn, Marshall says it was more difficult for third-party companies like FSP to bring in new business , because customers were more likely to buy new injectors and pay full-service contracts. But that’s no longer the case.
“Biomeds are starting to do more in-house work; the training of PMs is busier and busier; people need handson training to work on the equipment, calibrate it and make sure it’s patient-ready,” he says.
Now more than ever, hospitals are attempting to further cut costs and as such, are bringing contrast injector maintenance in-house.
“This has resulted in a decline in service contract business and an increase in the technical support aspect of the business,” says Clarke.
To aid service technicians with these intricate new systems, Maull Biomedical Training, Inc. runs a contrast injector service-training course, which teaches participants the proper operation of contrast injectors. The course helps technicians to identify the injector components, proper PM and calibrations/calibration verification procedures as well as the tools and test equipment needed. Each student is trained on, and has the opportunity to perform, an operational inspection, a complete PM and calibration/calibration verification on the following injector systems: ProVis/ Mark V Plus, Stellant, Spectris Solaris, Envision, Angiomat Illumena, CT 9000 ADV and OptiVantage.
“When it comes to teaching biomedical technicians how to perform proper maintenance on these injectors, by far the most common issue that comes up is the misconception as to how complex these injectors are,” says Stephen Maull, president and CEO, Maull Biomedical Training Inc. “Students arrive at training believing the injectors are far more difficult [to maintain and repair]. Once they get trained on the operation and service of them, they are surprised at what simple machines they really are.”