A few short years ago, medical imaging equipment vendors and independent service organizations (ISOs) were billing asset management as the way for hospitals and healthcare facilities to maximize the capabilities of their medical equipment. Traditionally, asset management has served as an equipment maintenance function, i.e., preventive maintenance and service and repair from vendors and ISOs and internal biomedical engineering teams. Asset management companies guaranteed significant cost savings in the hospitals equipment clinical equipment maintenance budget to facilities that signed an asset management agreement with them. Although the terms vary, asset management agreements generally entail paying a provider to maintain and manage capital equipment. Has asset management lived up to its initial promise? The answer is a resounding sort of, according to experts in the business.
Asset management is living to up its billing in cases where the asset management provider is living up to its billing, says Sandy Morford, President and COO of Genesis Technology Partners (San Dimas, Calif.). Customer perception defines whether or not asset management companies are living up their mission, says Morford. Hospitals need to ask if their asset management provider is delivering the promised cost savings and high-quality service. Morford claims that every successfully provided asset management will save dollars.
True, says Malcolm Ridgway, senior vice president of Technology Management Services at Masterplan, Inc. (Chatsworth, Calif.). But, Ridgway continues, hospitals can manage without asset management. That is, it doesnt cost a hospital anything to overpay for equipment maintenance, or a hospital that purchases a scanner that isnt quite right for its purposes will manage to get by with its mistake.
Please refer to the April 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis