por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | November 13, 2012
From the October 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In the radiation oncology field, regular preventative maintenance is absolutely vital to maintaining reliable performance. In addition, having a conscientious field service engineer goes a long way to controlling both downtime and cost, as does the careful and thoughtful use of the equipment by the therapists. Here are some common sense tips on maintaining reliable radiation equipment from Tony Richardson
vice president of business development at Oncology Services International, an ISO9001: 2008 certified independent service company specialized in the radiation oncology space.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness especially when it comes to moving parts such as multi-leaf leaves. Eliminate accumulated dirt and dust to minimize the chances of electrical issues; lubricate where needed to minimize wear and tear; and replace items like lamps, mylar, and mirrors before breakdowns happen, resulting in bigger problems.
- Examination of cables and water hoses for wear, radiation damage, and proper fit One crushed or cracked insulation in the thousands of wires in a linear accelerator can cause an intermittent fault—one of the most difficult things to diagnose. Hoses harden and crack over time and are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance until one fails and causes a huge problem. Preventative replacement pays off big time!
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- Backup your softwareThe computers which control these complex machines can change a catastrophe into a mere downtime inconvenience because computers will fail and need replacing. But the downtime will be much less with the precaution of back-up software.