If you’ve purchased a service contract in order to maximize ROI on your imaging equipment, the next step will be working with your service team.
We’ve partnered with hospitals, clinics and health systems throughout the Midwest to ensure equipment uptime. We’ve created service contracts for brand new imaging systems, entire fleets of equipment and older systems that may need more attention than their brand-new counterparts. As a result, our Field Service team has hundreds of years of combined experience working with customers to ensure maximum uptime.
In that time, they’ve noticed a few things about the service relationship that I thought would be fun to share. These are tips from our own Field Service Engineers to make the most of your relationship when signing a service contract, ensuring you’re using them as a resource that may help you in your efforts to provide an exceptional patient experience.
“Don’t Be Afraid to Contact Us”
This was probably the biggest sentiment shared by our Field Service Engineers. The hospital staff we work with are so personable and willing to troubleshoot problems on their own that they sometimes don’t want to bother us with every minor detail about their equipment.
I’m here to tell you: we want your questions. If something is even slightly off, we’d love for you to call us and describe the situation. Small errors could be the prelude to a much larger issue, and the quicker we can get in there to see what’s going on, the better the chance we have of avoiding lengthy downtime.
Plus, if a piece of equipment is functioning in an unexpected way, we want to know about it. Getting in the field, studying the equipment and seeing firsthand how it’s affecting hospital staff is invaluable when it comes to Field Service Engineers perfecting their roles. We’re constantly learning, even after years of being in the field, so it’s important to hear from the people who use the equipment every day.
When a software update occurs, it’s also possible for a system to behave in unexpected ways. We can run all the system tests we want in a controlled environment, but it’s the day-to-day application of patient care that really puts state-of-the-art imaging equipment to the test.
Which brings us to another important piece of advice…
Software updates on something like an MRI aren’t as frequent as they are on your PC (which seems like it’s updating just about every week), but they do happen.
When software updates are made available, it’s important to schedule time for the update to take place and to let the update run as soon as possible. These updates typically have important improvements to the user experience and help maximize resources. A lot of facilities are probably set up to initiate the update automatically, and that would be our recommendation as well.
You’d be surprised how many service calls we get that prompt the question, “Have you enabled the latest software update?” Many times, a stray piece of code can entirely take care of the problem. Siemens’s data engineering team is incredibly diligent about refining their previous work and improving their systems over time. Software updates don’t get issued until they’ve gone through extensive testing and are proven to improve the efficacy of the system.
It’s for these reasons that software updates should be installed whenever they get issued. If you have any questions or concerns around software updates, please contact us.
“We’re Here to Help You”
It doesn’t always take a severe service issue to get us on the phone. My team and I want you to reach out with any questions you may have, and that isn’t necessarily limited to service calls.
If you have questions about how to get the most out of a given CT, MRI or any kind of system, ask us. If your Field Service Engineer is unable to assist you or answer your questions regarding equipment operation or workflow, he will help you reach a Siemens Applications Specialist who can. Applications phone support is yet another valuable deliverable that comes with your service contract.
This is particularly important when a software update has occurred. These kinds of updates can alter the user interface or workflow in subtle but important ways, all aimed at improving the technologist experience and the patient experience. We want to make sure you understand how best practices change over time, and we’re going be there with you to point out what’s changed and how you might modify your routine ever so slightly to ensure you’re fully utilizing any enhanced features.
“We Have a Whole Team to Lean On”
I never want our hospital or health system clients to feel like they’re on an island when it comes to service. It’s true there will likely be one field service engineer you encounter most often, both on the phone and face to face. But it truly is a team effort when it comes to ensuring maximum uptime of equipment.
Often our Field Service Engineers will bring along a colleague to help deduce a problem or to show them something unique they’ve encountered. We have dozens of team members in the field, and they get together regularly to swap stories and talk about the latest findings they’ve discovered.
This has created a brain trust when it comes to equipment service, and I don’t think there’s a problem out there that this team couldn’t solve. We’re regularly in contact with one another going over service calls, reviewing our plans and sharing lessons learned. We’re also regularly in touch with Siemens directly, leveraging our relationship to gain insight and learn best practices from their entire service organization as well.
Continuing education is something we take seriously, and while we regularly take part in on-site and online training to keep up to date with the latest engineering information, we know how important it is to learn from each other. That’s the kind of resource you can’t replace.
A Team Effort
The one sentiment I can’t emphasize enough is this: we’re here to help you make the most of your imaging equipment. You strive to do your absolute best for your patients, and for that to happen, you need systems to be reliable and keep your facility operating efficiently.
We don’t take that responsibility lightly. We want to hear from you regularly, whether your equipment is failing or not. If it’s been a few months since we last spoke, don’t be surprised to get a phone call or even a visit from your Field Service Engineer just to see what’s going on and if things are still running smoothly.
Our team is here to help you out however we can. When I talked to my team, that was the common denominator between everything they said. We want to hear from you, our customers, because it helps us do our work even better, thus allowing your team to do their best work!