Every medical practice is feeling the impact during this continuing period of transition in healthcare. With a focus on cost reduction, while maintaining a high level of patient care, practices must continually look for new ways to improve efficiencies. An often-overlooked starting point is with equipment maintenance. The corrective and preventative maintenance of practice equipment can significantly reduce bottom line expenses by eliminating unexpected repairs, improving overall performance, and extending the equipment’s useful lifecycle.
So, this three-part series will cover the different service options available for equipment maintenance and then delve into some real-life examples of equipment failure issues. The first part of this series covers the five options for equipment maintenance ranging from service contracts with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Third-Party Independent Service Providers (ISOs) to Equipment Maintenance Management Programs (EMMPs), such as Remi.
Let’s explore the options so you can determine the right choice for your organization.
- Manufacturer Service Organizations (OEM Contracts): This contract follows the original purchase and equipment maintenance is generally covered under warranty for six (6) months to three (3) years. Once the warranty expires, you have the option to start a new maintenance program with the OEM or shop your options. Typically, the OEM tends to be the highest cost option.
- Third-Party Service Providers (ISO contracts): A third-party vendor like an Independent Service Organization (ISO) offers maintenance contracts like OEM’s and are usually staffed by previous OEM employees. Typically, these technicians are trained and certified to perform quality service and repairs. However, a direct agreement with an ISO does not necessarily allow for consolidation and organizations still have the administrative burden of bill payment, multiple purchase order (PO) generation and compliance management to whatever terms are negotiated.
- Time & Materials: This is a “pay as you go” approach to maintaining equipment. It is important to note that when you “pay as you go” you have no protection from critical failures that may be costly. Many organizations find that this option is difficult to manage and budget for.
- Equipment Maintenance Management Program (EMMP): This is a lower cost alternative to the OEM and or ISO contracts. An EMMP offered by Remi allows organizations to consolidate their existing electronic equipment maintenance contracts into one, single comprehensive agreement. This eliminates the inefficiency of having to manage multiple service agreements offered by various manufacturers. With Remi, you have one main point of contact to call for service and Remi in turn makes the service maintenance call to the customer’s vendor of choice (whether that’s the OEM or ISO) on the customer’s behalf. This reduces the administrative burden and allows the organization to easily budget year-to-year for equipment maintenance.
- No Equipment Maintenance Program: The absence of a maintenance strategy for the practice is a recipe for disaster. Facilities with no equipment maintenance plans usually end up paying more out-of-pocket and experiencing longer down times for their equipment based on both severity and frequency failure issues.
Now, that you are aware of your options when it comes to Equipment Maintenance Programs, please join us for the next two blogs in the series that will look into some real-life examples that address both severity and frequency failure issues when an equipment maintenance program is not in place.
We will see you in our next blog.