Cost Savings through Proper Preventative Maintenance
Ultrasound preventative maintenance sounds like a very basic, somewhat boring topic to cover but throughout my career, I have seen many PMs performed or examined systems post-PM and have found the service to be inadequate at best. In previous articles, compliance with accreditation organizations and CMS has been discussed regarding PMs but let’s look at the potential cost savings of a proper PM.
First, thoroughly clean the system inside and out using an ESD compliant vacuum cleaner. Today’s ultrasound systems are more sensitive to heat than ever before and cleaning filters, intake grills and air passages is critical to preventing future failures. The filters on all contemporary systems should be cleaned on a regular basis with the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as environment dictating the frequency.
Now you need to complete a full system backup. Twice. This is a critical step to mitigate downtime in the eventuality the system fails due to software issues. By making two complete backup of presets, network data, options and other user preferences, you can fully restore a system in a couple of hours versus many hours or even days. Leave one with the customer and store the other in a central location accessible to your team.
On to the transducers, begin by inspecting the pins on the probe connector. Bent pins can damage the probe connector board on the system which then may damage another probe when it is plugged into that board. This can have a cascade effect throughout a department as damaged probes are moved around and damaged connector boards continue to bend pins on other probes. Also check the probes for overall integrity and safety; a small repair today can prevent a very costly one down the line.
You also want to determine the solution and processes your cutomer is using to clean and disinfect transducers to ensure they are compatible with the manufacturer’s recommendations and are focused towards safe handling from start to finish. This is not part of standard PMs but over the course of my career in the ultrasound service world, I have performed hundreds of process evaluations and have found areas for improvement in the majority of cases.
Want to learn more? Conquest Imaging has developed a comprehensive PM training program to assist you to perform the most thorough, compliant and truly preventative maintenance in the ultrasound industry. Call us at 866-900-9404 for more details.