由 Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | November 11, 2013
From the November 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Plates aren’t the only concern. Sarah Jones, an analyst at the research group In- Medica, says that she has heard from manufacturers that some are concerned about where liability falls if something goes wrong with a piece of retrofitted equipment.
“No one has said this has happened yet, but it’s something a lot of the manufacturers are slightly concerned about with regards to the retrofit market,” says Jones. “Because the market is still in its infancy, it’s quite a new technology, I’ve not heard of any specific issues yet, but people think it could be quite a potential issue if things happen.”
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Foley had a similar worry. Because he retrofitted his room from one vendor to another, he was concerned that it would be difficult to know which side was to blame when something went wrong. He has found that because the retrofit bypasses the generator function, when there’s a problem, it’s clear whether it’s from the generator or the retrofit portion.
“You’re really working independently,” he says. “And with the Carestream system we use, if you have a problem with the retrofit side, you can flip a switch and it can go to the other vendor’s generator.”
On the biomed side, Kliethermes also does not see liability being an issue. “Back in the day, you could have asked, was it Agfa or Curex film?” he said. “I don’t see that as an issue, because X-ray is X-ray.”
With more involved technology, service contracts can be more expensive for digital rooms than for analog rooms. Kliethermes notes that service contracts for DR retrofit rooms tend to be more flexible than service contracts for DR rooms.
“If your in-house staff did not have the capability to work on the digital portion of the R/F room, but could work on the X-ray portion, it would be very unlikely that an OEM x-ray vendor would separate the digital and X-ray areas from the contract and in the end you would end up with a contract on the entire product,” says Kliethermes.
“With a DR retrofit solution, however, you have the ability for your less experienced clinical engineering staff to continue to maintain your X-ray room solutions and either contract separately for the DR retrofits or just go with a drop insurance coverage plan for the digital plates only. Essentially there is more flexibility with the analog Xray room fitted with a DR retrofit and you are then not at the mercy of the OEM X-ray vendor.”
Once your service contracts are arranged and regular maintenance check-ups are in place, your new R/F should serve you well for years to come. . . or at least until he next irresistible upgrade comes along.