Predict and Prepare Part I

Being a Cub Scout and then Boy Scout, I was always taught to “be prepared.” When customer satisfaction, revenue and, most importantly, patient outcomes are concerned, being prepared is absolutely critical. What we prepare for is predicated on predicting possible negative outcomes and having solutions already implemented or ready.

How does this apply to ultrasound? If you have followed this column, you know that system backups are critical when it comes to mitigating downtime. I recommend backing up your systems at least twice per year if not more frequently to prepare for the inevitable software corruption or hard drive crashes which are common failures with today’s ultrasound systems.

Probes are another area when predicting and preparing are indicated. Any damage to probe cables, lenses, nosepieces, insertion tubes, etc. should be addressed immediately before additional damage can occur. Inspect/analyze probe cleaning, handling and storage methods to see if they conflict with the manufacturer’s recommendations and remedy before you have a probe “epidemic” on your hands. Early detection of probe damage dramatically reduces the cost we assess on probe repairs and proper processes ensure probe damage is limited or eliminated.

How can you predict and prepare for a service visit? When a request comes in, ask the right questions to determine which part or subsystem is failing and by having proper documentation (and backups) on all the systems you oversee, you will be able to have the right parts on hand when you arrive on the first visit. At Conquest Imaging, we have achieved an industry leading 88 percent first-time fix rate on all service calls by being prepared and predicting.

This philosophy even applies to the reconditioned parts and probes we sell. Since we have been in business for 15 years, we have virtually unlimited historical data on component failures for all major makes and models and their subassemblies and can predict most failures. High-failure components, even if they are functional, are proactively replaced prior to quality assurance to ensure reliability and longevity.

Being prepared and predicting problems was a great lesson learned as a child and is what separates a great service and support model from an adequate one. If you have any questions on this or anything else ultrasound related, please email me at: mtomory@conquestimaging.com.

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