Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Medical facilities need to depend on outside medical equipment service providers when in-house service specialists are not on staff. Regular maintenance, including preventative and corrective measures, needs to be done to keep medical equipment safe and running smoothly. Updating software and worn parts adds to the longevity of medical equipment thus resulting in savings for your facility.
Many facilities try to cut corners by having personnel perform regular maintenance and minor repairs. While this may occasionally work it is always better to enter into a service contract with a third party service company or equipment vendor to perform corrective and preventative maintenance. A service contract will ensure that your equipment is maintained at regular intervals. This will help to combat against unexpected machine failures. There are several options when choosing a service contract. We will look into the options below.
Third Party Equipment Service Contracts Available To Medical Facilities
- 24/7 Full Coverage: A medical facility can request services anytime, day or night.
- Business Hour Coverage: With this type of service contract a medical center will receive service during normal business hours, five days a week for eight hours a day.
- Extended Business Hour Coverage: This service contract offers the same coverage as business hour coverage except that it covers more than eight hours. If your facility is open from nine in the morning until nine at night this would be one of the contract options to consider.
- Extended Business Hour and Weekend Coverage: Similar to the above except it adds hours to cover facilities on the weekend.
- Preventative Maintenance Coverage: This type of service contract only covers planned maintenance and does not cover unplanned corrective services.
- Time and Material Coverage: A time and material coverage contract is where a service provider is paid based on the actual cost of parts and labor used. This contract is usually based on a specific cost per hour of labor.
- Loaner Service Contract Coverage: This type of contract allows medical facilities to return the unit to the vendor and the vendor provides a loaner unit until the equipment is returned to its original state. This is a difficult service contract to have in place with large scaled equipment such as linear accelerators and ct scanners.
In our next installment on medical equipment service contracts we will discuss tips on negotiating a contract that best meets your facilities needs while maintaining a reasonable budget.
We talk a lot about cutting costs when it comes to medical equipment service contracts from service contracts to onsite personnel in charge of regular maintenance. When medical facilities rely on outsourcing medical equipment maintenance and repair it is important that you enter into a contract that makes sense for you. It is important not to pay for contract features that you will not use. These features add to an already tight budget that most facilities are already trying to maneuver. In this installment we will discuss negotiating tips between medical facilities and medical equipment maintenance and repair companies.
- Take note of the options available in service contracts from the vendor. Consider the details that layout time, materials and labor charges of the different companies you are looking into before making a contract purchase.
- New medical equipment is less likely to break down than older equipment therefore requiring a less detailed service contract. New equipment does not usually require the twenty four hour, seven day a week contract that older, essential equipment may. New equipment can most likely exist on a regular maintenance contract for the first three years. Not to mention that most new medical equipment repairs are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Certain medical devices, such as slit lamps, don’t require service contracts from out sourced entities. Some equipment can be maintained with regular inspections and maintenance that can easily be provided by in-house equipment specialists and sometimes even the personnel in charge of running it.
- Some large scaled medical equipment will require only a limited out sourced service contract. Equipment such as ultrasounds, scanners and lasers are all fairly reliable and in house personnel can perform initial inspections and can be the first responders to issues when they arise. These pieces can often benefit from remote support which can be provided at a lesser cost basis than on service support.
- Backup equipment is another area where facilities can lessen the service contract associated with each machine. Most back up equipment does not need to be services at all hours of the day and can utilize a less stringent service contract such as a business hours only contract.
- When entering into a service contract it is crucial that you have everything in writing. Verbal commitments are often hard to uphold. When you are contracting outside medical equipment service specialist it is crucial to document everything within the contract. This protects both parties later on from miscommunication.
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