Top Six Qualities of Imaging Equipment Service Providers

October 6, 2011

It can be difficult to ensure that you are using the most reliable service providers available to repair and maintain your diagnostic imaging equipment. The goal is to choose the best service option that will ensure the highest level of equipment uptime and reliability. Here's what to look for.

The proper repair and maintenance of diagnostic imaging equipment is essential to radiologists’ livelihood. If a piece of equipment, such as a CT, MRI or ultrasound, is down for any extended amount of time, it can cost hours of lost productivity and thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

It is important to recognize that choosing the right service provider to repair and maintain the valuable equipment is vital to every radiologist, imaging center, and healthcare organization. A mediocre maintenance provider can cost healthcare providers and patients time, money, and unnecessary frustration.

It can be difficult - if not impossible - to ensure that you are using the best, most reliable service providers available to repair and maintain your diagnostic imaging equipment. Open the yellow pages and you will see that the choices are overwhelming. Google “MRI repair” and you will pull up a plethora of service providers, all claiming to be the best.

But what qualities should you insist on as a consumer? Finding the right service provider is just as important as purchasing the right equipment at the start. The goal is to successfully choose the best service option that will ensure the highest level of equipment uptime and reliability.

Depending on what type of diagnostic imagaing equipment you own, the list of desirable qualities may be long. So for the sake of time, we have narrowed it down to the top six most desirable qualities that every equipment service provider should possess no matter what type of equipment they maintain.

1. Integrity. The service provider should always have the client’s best interest in mind and work equally as hard for all their clients regardless of how they finance the service (i.e. annual contract vs. time and materials). The service provider should be ethical and honest and perform only the maintenance required using the appropriate number of technicians.

2. Credibility. The service provider must be reliable and trustworthy, which includes arriving on time and delivering the services promised in a professional manner; References of satisfied clients should be available upon request. The relationship between the service provider and the client should be a partnership.

3. Experience. The service provider should be familiar with the specific make and model of the diagnostic imaging equipment in need of repair or maintenance, have experience maintaining the equipment, and be prepared with all possible replacement parts. The service provider should send the most qualified technician to repair each specific piece of equipment.

4. Efficiency. The service provider should be respectful of the end-user’s need to manage daily tasks by arriving within a reasonable amount of time to repair the equipment. Just as important, the service provider should repair the equipment in the least amount of time allowable. The service provider should also communicate openly about repair progress and/or potential issues with the end user during the service call in case a different course of action is needed.

5. Cost. The service provider should provide a fair and competitive rate based on the regional average of similar services. In addition, the price quoted should be the price on the invoice, unless otherwise communicated. All costs, such as travel; after-hour, weekend, and holiday rates; or resupply charges, should be disclosed upfront - there should be no hidden charges or up-charges for being on time and materials.

6. Guarantee/Warranty. The service provider should offer a guarantee or warranty for the repair or maintenance performed to ensure the client is getting the best repair and support service possible. The guarantee or warranty should be in writing and describe what is covered and for what period of time.

In the end, radiologists, imaging centers, and healthcare organizations should expect and receive the best repair and maintenance at the best price on each and every piece of imaging equipment vital to their patients.

Have you had a great experience with a service provider? Has a service call gone seriously wrong? We would love to hear your story.

Jennifer Daugherty is a business development coordinator for Charlotte, NC-based The Remi Group, LLC, which provides programs that replace equipment maintenance service contracts, with the goal of saving money, improving equipment performance, and reducing equipment downtime.