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The future of device service: No longer a cost center

August 16, 2021
Parts And Service
Todd Brown
From the August 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Todd Brown

When backed by digital technologies, data analytics and deep expertise, service becomes a driver of productivity, clinical performance and financial results.

In contemplating service for medical equipment, healthcare providers typically ask: How will we maintain it? If it breaks, who will fix it? What will it cost?

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In the future, those questions will fade, as service evolves into a discipline that helps foster gains in quality and consistency, staff and equipment productivity, improved patient satisfaction and revenue generation. In an increasingly digital and data-driven world, providers will ask these questions about their service programs:

1. Will devices be ready when patients need them? How can we tap their full potential?
Traditional service remains essential but is only the beginning. The preferred service providers will offer flexible solutions, considering users’ needs before and after they acquire equipment.

Among powerful optimization tools are online real-time location systems that eliminate time clinicians spend searching for mobile devices: infusion pumps, telemetry monitors and other mobile equipment. Wireless and Bluetooth technology can help locate mobile devices when clinicians need them.

Meanwhile, digital technology supports training that aids staff with refreshing their skills, maximizing use of their equipment, and mastering devices’ latest advanced features. Virtual tools deliver hands-on, personalized training; clinicians learn at their own pace and on their own schedules. And continuity programs ensure providers regularly receive updates to imaging platform hardware and software, benefitting patients with the latest in care technologies.

2. How can data support our critical mission?
More than ever, data drives performance, delivering key insights and supporting actionable recommendations. For example:
• A software suite lets caregivers orchestrate care, digitizing each patient’s journey from complaint and diagnosis through treatment and follow-up. Real-time data connects caregivers across the enterprise, saving time and limiting stress.
• Digital tools help radiology departments maximize imaging device utilization, streamline scheduling and workflow, spot areas for improvement, and standardize care across the enterprise.
• A cloud-based management tool aids providers with standardizing imaging protocols and delivering the right exam to each patient — helping reduce variation, meet regulatory requirements, and improve imaging service consistency.

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