Due to the hit of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers are facing financial issues. In fact, many have been affected by shrinking margins and dried up revenue streams from delaying procedures and shifting their focus toward the virus. However, third-party equipment service partners offer a desirable proposition for significant savings when it comes to servicing imaging technology and equipment. Cost-effectiveness and efficiency have always been the top priorities with equipment services. Although, it has never been as urgent as during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the advantages of a third-party service:
It states that non-urgent procedures are typically a revenue source for healthcare providers, but many of these exams (and scans) have been decreasing in services. Ultimately, this decrease has affected both the need and affordability of services. “Because they see decreased revenue, we did receive calls requesting suspensions of service contracts and reduced cost of annual contracts based on scan volumes,” said Mike Black, vice president of sales for Alpha Source Group. “We did everything we could to meet those requests and partner with our customers.”
Although changes in medical services seem to be short-term, different parts of the U.S. have varying degrees of success in their fight against the virus. Many providers are beginning to resume their typical workloads.
On-Site Visit Preparation
Since the need for social distancing, many service providers try to avoid on-site visits and preventative maintenance unless they are necessary. To prepare for an on-site visit, service engineers will wear masks and other PPE products to stay safe and keep the people they interact with safely. Many medical service organizations have adopted their policies around the use of PPE, but apparently, the best approach is to follow the protocols implemented by the healthcare facility. Service providers also have to be more flexible when performing preventive maintenance by scheduling it around their customer’s needs. This could lead to working during off-hours, such as weekends and even as late as midnight, to avoid delays when care is critical.
Service from a Distance
Another one of the advantages of a third-party service is to service from a distance. Now, because hospitals are limiting the number of people in their facilities and service providers looking to avoid on-site visits, remote monitoring and telecommunications have become helpful preventative maintenance tools. For instance, the utilization of remote monitoring reduces the need for bringing service people on-site at the facility. It can also be used for other purposes, including monitoring equipment, troubleshooting problems, performing diagnostics, database resets and cleanups, and even equipment repair.
During the pandemic, service providers have also used telecommunications technology for online training for their service teams. This trend will continue even after the coronavirus pandemic has ended. However, one can argue that hands-on training should not be replaced entirely.
Serving in a Post-Pandemic World
The virus is sure to have long-term effects even after it subsides. Learning the lessons and being prepared the next time something like this happens will require a fundamental shift in how many aspects of healthcare specialists operate. Equipment service will be one part of the “new normal” we take on. Service providers and hospitals will continue to rely more on remote monitoring to limit exposure with others. In addition to this, online classes will educate not just independent service engineers but also hospital in-house service teams. Improvements in emergency preparedness protocols will be a big focus moving forward if a resurgence or other pandemic should occur. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you!