Imaging Equipment Service Trends: Where Is the Industry Heading?
Legislation, reimbursement rates, research and development – with so many factors at play, the imaging equipment market is constantly changing and, along with it, so is the imaging equipment service market. Although it is impossible to know for certain how the future will pan out, we can look at current trends and begin to develop an idea of the direction the market is headed. The following are the three biggest changes we believe are coming in the next few years.
In-House Service Teams
More and more hospital systems are starting to hire and train their own biomedical and clinical engineers. For equipment stables of sufficient size, this service approach can result in significant savings and increases in uptime versus traditional service plans through manufacturers.
As in-house teams grow in popularity, we can anticipate an increase in the industry’s training needs. Many engineers are heavily specialized in certain makes and modalities. To make in-house teams as versatile as they will need to be, the availability of service training will likely rise to meet the new demand.
As health systems move toward managing their own repairs their engineers will continue to stretch and grow their equipment knowledge. However, there will always be limitations to how much one team can know and how much workload they can handle at a given time. Because of these limitations, it will be necessary from time-to-time to call in outside help.
In scenarios where a hospital system has eschewed OEM service in favor of building their own team, when outside support is needed it will most likely come from third-party sources. This trend is a win-win: growing third-party companies will have more opportunities to serve and hospital systems will have more opportunities to save.
Our final prediction is one that has already proven itself in many other areas of daily life: the proliferation of online applications. Over the next few years, service and parts providers will implement additional technology to improve their capabilities.
Everything from online access to service, to saving equipment downtime with remote diagnostics, to ordering parts from your phone with ecommerce will become increasingly available. The ease, availability, and convenience of technologies like these will empower third-party providers to offer customer service of increasing quality.
As the medical imaging industry continues to evolve, service providers who have invested in the areas mentioned above will emerge as the most effective. For those who are considering the next direction for their facility’s equipment service, keep in mind that what a potential provider is doing in these areas today will ultimately be the foundation of the service experience you’ll have in the future.
Gabe Viscomi is the Vice President of Service at Block Imaging. His goal is to provide imaging equipment users with outstanding service by leading, refining, and equipping an outstanding Block Imaging Service Team.