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How COVID-19 has impacted the servicing of essential medical equipment

May 17, 2021
Parts And Service

Look for breadth/depth of services
Providers should also look for a maintenance and repair partner that has the breadth and depth of services to meet all their medical device needs. Bundling service and repair contracts with one partner who can do it all reduces the number of vendors your team must work with, streamlines the repair process so it’s easier to manage, and provides cost savings. As providers looked for ways to meet the challenges of COVID-19, consolidation accelerated across all sectors of the industry.

Capture data; Monitor robustly

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COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of more robust monitoring and capturing of data and diagnostics to ensure you are able to make better decisions on everything from extending the life cycle of certain equipment, to reducing equipment failure, to recommending better maintenance schedules. Allowing your service and repair partner to access data allows them to recommend areas where you can reduce unnecessary capital expenditures. While this has become critical during the pandemic, it also provides a strong foundation for future advancements and investments and will give providers a competitive advantage in a post-pandemic world.

Check credentials
Be sure your repair partner maintains a rigorous quality management service model that is also fully compliant with regulatory standards including ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016. In addition, during COVID, many service and repair providers and OEMs encountered travel restrictions. In some cases, field service technicians were not allowed to enter facilities due to state quarantines which could last up to 14 days. That may continue through the fall. ISOs with flexible service organizations were able to find solutions for their OEM partners who were not allowed into hospitals to support their own customers. In several instances, their service personnel met healthcare facility requirements of being credentialed through services like Reptrax, GHX, Intellicentrics or Symplr. This allowed them to enter the facilities, access the equipment, and get the job done. In addition, find a partner that is capable of servicing multiple modalities. This will give your team the added reassurance that they can streamline equipment service and repair across various equipment lines.

Outsourced service teams add value
As belt tightening continues due to COVID-19, health systems and physician groups must decide whether to manage risks associated with repair and service inhouse or to bring in a trusted outside partner.

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