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Will retirements produce stress for service training?

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | August 19, 2016
HTM Parts And Service
From the August 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“It’s really all about giving them the confidence to work on equipment and you really want to help them reduce the overall cost of that service delivery,” says Pat Fitzgerald, executive vice president and general manager of Richardson Healthcare. “The only way you can do that is with good engineers on our staff who are running the training programs.”

Each member of the training staff has more than 30 years of experience working on CTs. After the students graduate, they often call the staff members when they have any issue. “Our graduates know that they have that connection, and so when they are facing a problem on a scanner, [they are] usually their first call,” says Fitzgerald. “Sometimes they know for sure if a part is down and ready to go, but oftentimes they are looking for second-level support with troubleshooting.” Richardson Healthcare is looking to also provide training for Toshiba MRs as well as Philips CTs.

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The digital world
The HTM and IT departments used to be separate entities, but with the introduction of EHRs and digital technologies, their roles have started to blend. There has been a tremendous amount of convergence between the departments in the last two or three years, says GE’s Rielly. Rielly estimated that HTMs fall under the influence of the chief information officer in roughly half of the organizations in the U.S. More HTM programs are being run by the CIO because devices are now seen as part of the network.

“It’s a big increasing trend where they’re coming closer together,” says Rielly. “In places that are not part of the same organization, there [are questions about] where the clinical network stops and where the device fits. There’s that gray area in between.” GE has become involved by offering a service program called Clinical Network Management that dictates the departments’ responsibilities. The company takes a look at the overall network and decides who is going to be accountable for what.

They talk to asset managers in their programs and make sure that all assets are accounted for and that there are plans in place for how it will all be managed. “We don’t view the network any differently,” says Rielly. “It’s an asset that needs to be managed, [but] because it kind of falls in the gray area, a lot of times that accountability is tough.”

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