Clinical Engineering Case Study: Regional Hospital Surgery Center

Regional Hospital Surgery Center Attains Outstanding Business Results through Collaboration with ISS Solutions

Regional Hospital Surgery Center Attains Outstanding Business Results through
Collaboration with ISS Solutions

SNAPSHOT

Company: Regional Hospital Surgery Center
Headquarters: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Business: Multi-specialty outpatient surgery center with four operating rooms

OVERVIEW

Challenge:

Find a cost-effective approach to ensure biomedical and sterilizer equipment is always operational for each day’s surgeries.

Solution:

Utilize ISS Solutions’ medical equipment expertise to determine the appropriate service level for each inventory item, and then contract for service.

Benefits:

  • Reliable, dependable service
  • Extension of medical equipment life
  • Management of equipment failure risks at reasonable cost

Regional Hospital Surgery Center has emerged as a successful business. The Regional Hospital Surgery Center opened in May 2007 as a partnership between Regional Hospital Health Partners and Lackawanna County physicians. The center opened in the same building that another surgery center had occupied. It closed in 2005 after posting significant operating losses. To be successful, Regional Hospital Surgery Center needed to make sound business decisions—and it has.

Administrator Susan Luchko-Miller says, “Everyone involved in the center wants it to succeed. We’ve gotten more efficient.” Ms. Miller explains that surgery centers were founded because they can perform surgeries with excellent results in less time and at a lower price than the same or similar procedures at a hospital. “If a hospital is doing five cases, it might take eight hours. We can have these patients home and back to their lives by noon if we start at 8:00.”

“I need a company to repair my equipment— not to press a few buttons then tell me I need to purchase a new one. ISS Solutions can tear it down and put it back together again. They help me get additional years out of my equipment.” —Susan Luchko-Miller, Administrator, Regional Hospital Surgery Center

ISS Solutions is one part of Regional Hospital Surgery Center’s successful business strategy. To stretch budget dollars, Ms. Miller relies on ISS Solutions because of their clinical engineering expertise and ability to repair equipment that other vendors might recommend replacing prematurely. Ms. Miller says, “ISS Solutions knows our equipment and has provided us with sound recommendations about which devices need to be covered at each service level. The result is a program that works within our budget, while ensuring that Regional Hospital Surgery Center’s equipment will be properly maintained and serviced.”

Reliable, dependable service

Like many centers, Regional Hospital Surgery Center has just over a hundred biomedical devices and a few sterilizer units. When operating rooms are full, almost all of this equipment can be in use. Equipment must be performing correctly for surgeries to proceed as frequently back-up equipment is not available within the facility.

“ISS Solutions is reliable and dependable,” says Ms. Miller.“If I have an urgent issue with my equipment, ISS Solutions dispatches a technician immediately. They test and repair equipment promptly and will even loan and deliver a piece of equipment to us if they have one available.”

Ms. Miller has recommended ISS Solutions to her colleagues based on her experiences working with the company. ISS Solutions was under contract when Ms. Miller started as Regional Hospital Surgery Center’s administrator a little over a year ago. “But, if ISS Solutions wasn’t with us, I would have hired them as soon as our contract was up,” she says. “ISS Solutions will put the time in on a repair to keep our equipment running. That’s a big difference between ISS Solutions and their competitors.”

Extension of medical equipment life

Because of ISS Solutions’ commitment to clinical engineering service excellence, issues with equipment are rare at Regional Hospital Surgery Center. Surgery has never been postponed because of an equipment issue, and necessary repairs have been scheduled after-hours. Regional Hospital Surgery Center has discovered that the secret to reducing equipment issues is regularly scheduled preventive maintenance. ISS Solutions technicians visit Regional Hospital Surgery Center at least twice a year to examine and test their equipment.

A good maintenance program is important to extend Regional Hospital Surgery Center’s equipment life and ultimately to save money.

A good maintenance program is important to extend Regional Hospital Surgery Center’s equipment life and ultimately to save money. Ms. Miller says, “I want to keep my equipment going as long as possible. My budget doesn’t allow me to just throw out a device then replace it.”

ISS Solutions ensures that the technician dispatched to repair equipment is well-trained. To service specialty equipment, such as sterilizers, ISS Solutions requires that technicians have additional training and experience with these devices.

Management of equipment failure risks at reasonable cost

“Our contract with ISS Solutions is not a full load contract,” says Ms. Miller. “We choose to have certain items contracted and other items ‘Parts and Labor.’ The trick is determining what level of risk to assume and taking the time to examine each piece of equipment in the inventory.”

For each client, the ISS Solutions management team recommends coverage on each device based on their breadth and depth of experience. ISS Solutions will explain the costs and risks associated with the different scenarios so clients can make an informed decision and obtain the level of coverage needed.

Regional Hospital Surgery Center has a service plan that ensures equipment will function properly without the expense required by full coverage. Says Ms. Miller: “I tell my colleagues that ISS Solutions is very flexible in working with ambulatory surgery centers. They will help you determine what is best for your center.”

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