Parts and Service - The Full Story

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Parts and Service - The Full Story

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 04, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Although they do buy from non-approved GPO vendors, there are limits to who she will and can buy from. “There are certain vendors the company does not want us to buy from. So we buy from both (GPO-approved and non-approved) but we give preference to good proven history,” she says.

Total in-house service
Some hospitals fully rely on OEM service, others may tap ISOs or use a mix of the two along with their own in-house. None of that applies at NC Baptist Medical Center when it comes to servicing their radiology imaging equipment. “We are 100 percent in-house,” says Stuart Grogan, radiology equipment manager at the center. While the biomed department is serviced by Aramark, Grogan’s department has autonomy when it comes to their service needs. “We are a separate department with the responsibility of servicing our own equipment,” he explains.
To be at 100 percent in-house service requires, in addition to experience, quick and accurate parts acquisition. For that, Grogan says it’s a mix. “It’s a complete mix, it’s whatever the situation requires,” says Grogan.

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Grogan says if the OEM is more expensive, but has the needed part on-hand and it’s critical, they’ll move forward with the purchase. “It’s situation driven and machine driven,” he says.

Although the purchase decision is situation driven, there are checks in place to make sure the system isn’t abused. “We look on the open market and our engineers are measured on how well they do on cost savings and time in getting the parts,” Grogan says.

“The OEMs try to sell us service contracts; they say they can save us time. But we have good independent vendors. We do have some parts agreements with the OEMs,” Grogan says. “Some vendors’ parts are more prevalent on the open market than others. If we can’t get it we go to the OEMs.”

Grogan says they have negotiated parts support contracts with OEMs in the past and it wouldn’t be off the table in the future —the decision is financially driven, but with the ultimate goal of providing a high level of patient care.
Grogan says their spending on parts has increased slightly as they have actually had to turn to OEMs for parts more in recent years because they’ve been replacing technology with more current models. Newer equipment usually means a scarcity of parts and it means the OEMs are sometimes the only game in town when it comes to acquiring those parts. “We have new state-of-the-art MRs, so we are of course on parts contracts that we’ve negotiated for that equipment,” he says. “You don’t need that for 15-yearold X-ray machines.”

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