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Case Study: The Cost of a Bad Medical Imaging Part

Aug 21, 2020 | Case Studies, Siemens

While the desire to get the best price is understandable, in the case of medical imaging parts where patient health and lives are at risk, there’s more to consider than simply looking at the price tag. This case study shows how the cost of a bad part can quickly escalate when things go wrong.

Ultimately, the downtime of a machine can cost substantially more than any given part. Here’s how one service organization learned that lesson firsthand, and how DirectMed Imaging responded quickly to help them get back to the business of helping patients.

The Problem: An Attempt to Save Money on a CT Part Turns into a Costly Headache

Recently, a Midwest hospital had a Siemens Sensation 16 CT machine go down. The cause of the issue wasn’t apparent to the imaging staff, so the hospital’s service organization sent in a technician to review the machine. While troubleshooting the issue, the servicing engineer discovered the machine needed the IRS2-AQP part replaced. With the issue identified, the service company quickly started looking for a replacement part to get the machine up and running so the hospital could get back to caring for its patients. The service tech would remain on site until the new part arrived so they could install it and make sure everything was working properly.

In the service company’s search for the part, they contacted DirectMed Imaging for a quote request. However, our quote for the part was slightly higher than another vendor the company found, so they decided to purchase the part at a lower price from them. Unfortunately, the small amount of money they saved on the purchase of the part was quickly wiped out when it arrived DOA to the engineer on site.

Hospitals can lose many thousands of dollars per day on lost scans when a machine is down. Plus, patients might need to delay urgent scans and reschedule appointments, which could endanger their health or lead them to seek treatment elsewhere. Each day an imaging machine is down adds cost far exceeding the price paid for replacement parts. In this case, the downtime on the machine continued for eight days. Keeping the engineer on site and losing valuable scan time dramatically escalated the cost to the organization, while the service company now pursued an even more urgent solution.

the cost of a bad part graphic

A note from the service organization stated:

“We bought from another company to save some money, but when the part arrived, it was DOA. We tried to save money, but now we spent more money because we had longer downtime. I wish we would have just paid a bit more and bought the part from you. We made a mistake.”

The Solution: Prompt Service and Quality Imaging Parts Delivered

DirectMed Imaging eventually received another call from the service company asking if the same part, price, and warranty were still available, making certain that the part was refurbished and tested to ensure quality. Soon after, DirectMed Imaging received a purchase order for the part. Because time was of the essence, DirectMed Imaging QA tested the part, carefully packed it, and had it shipped overnight. The engineer at the hospital installed it the next day and it worked immediately. Problem solved.

In less than 24 hours, DirectMed Imaging provided a solution to a challenge eight days in the making—all because another vendor’s slightly less expensive replacement part arrived DOA. In addition to our prompt response and reliable parts, our customers receive free 24/7 technical support from our staff of OEM-experienced engineers to help with any questions relating to installation for CT, X-ray, or MRI parts. Our part prices aren’t just based on materials; they include the service and support that’s essential to keeping equipment up and running. We’re involved in the process far beyond the initial transaction.

Besides tech support, we even offer training to qualified professionals who want to learn more about maintaining and repairing different types of medical imaging equipment. Unlike some parts vendors, we are highly specialized and take a thorough approach to the people and equipment in the medical imaging industry.

Because requests for medical imaging parts are often urgent, our communication is always prompt, whether customers are just looking for a price, or if they have questions about troubleshooting an issue or parts installation. Being diligent and thorough at every point throughout the process reduces delays and potentially helps keep equipment up and running, which is our ultimate goal.

The Results: Getting Smarter About Saving Money on Medical Imaging Parts

The service company was glad that the part was still available and that we were there to help them. With our part, they got the hospital’s machine up and running quickly. The hospital was happy they could get back to serving their patients, and the patients were grateful to get proper treatment. The service organization may have lost money from their initial decision, but ultimately, a valuable lesson was learned.

You can also learn from the lesson in this case study – when it comes to medical imaging equipment parts, there’s more at stake than what’s on the price tag. For quality assured, dependable parts and top-notch service, contact us any time. We’re here for you.

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