Question: How do medical device companies perform field service and in-service visits and calls?

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How do medical device companies perform field service and in-service visits and calls? What are best practices and what are...

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Posted by Clark Love (Discussions: 1, Comments: 0)
Replied on May 16, 2017 12:00 am
Category: Medical Devices
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Seemingly your organization is in an allied field to field service (FS) operations. FSA could involve repair, replacement, pt injury, death. So the newbie needs a complete understanding of the technical aspects of the device and the regulatory responsibilities that may be encountered. A very strong and comprehensive training regimen is needed. Currently, the field operatives are trained through educational institutions, this would change to involve them in technical repair of electronics/mechanics/software. There is FS S/W that helps the management of the process.
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Posted by George Butcher (Discussions: 0, Comments: 185)
Replied on May 15, 2017 8:00 pm
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    Large med device companies have full service organizations that operate separately from sales, and they do installation, preventive/unplanned maintenance, and upgrades, both during the warranty period and under a paid post-warranty service contract. Big hospitals handle much of that themselves with their in-house biomed teams, while smaller orgs outsource it. The labor cost problem everyone has is that it is inefficient to send people only to touch a small number of machines, so the ideal is to bundle services and offer support for everything, from seven-figure imaging machines down to hand-held/portable devices. I would view this as a great new opportunity for your business as the incremental risks for you are smaller than for someone whose team does not consist of licensed healthcare professionals, and your marginal cost is low because your folks are already physically there. There are risks if things go badly (as GM Butcher mentioned), but that's manageable.
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    Posted by Roger Cepeda (Discussions: 0, Comments: 10)
    Replied on May 17, 2017 8:00 pm
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      From a clinical diagnostics perspective, Roger is absolutely correct. I have had extensive experience with companies that manufacture and market sophisticated clinical laboratory analyzers that come with a variety of service plans. many, if not most also have very complex but easy to use remote diagnostics using the internet to provide preventative , diagnostic and maintenance repairs. It is important to diagnose the problem remotely so that the requisite part is on site when the field service technician arrives. This greatly expedites the repair process, reduced downtime and cost. Before the use of the internet in this manner, I launched a phone service that did essentially the same thing in 1983 for an automated immunoassay analyzer.
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      Posted by Ken Powell (Discussions: 0, Comments: 55)
      Replied on May 18, 2017 8:00 pm
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        The business model to which you refer has evolved considerably in the USA during the past ten years. Clinical Nurse Educators as they are called are contracted to perform 'Train the trainer' episodes on an hourly or per diem basis plus travel expenses. They are located in geographically strategic cities.
        Smaller companies provide comprehensive to these CNSs
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        Posted by John Robert Clague (Discussions: 0, Comments: 6)
        Replied on May 18, 2017 8:00 pm
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          If a CNS network already exists in the UK, I would appreciate an introduction to the group.
          John R Clague Prospect Diagnostics Ltd
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          Posted by John Robert Clague (Discussions: 0, Comments: 6)
          Replied on May 18, 2017 8:00 pm
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            Such professional servicesare available in proncpal cities in the USA delivered by so called Clinical Nurse Educators CNSs.
            Smaller companies provide comprehensive training to these CNSs and with the benefit of networking, the good CNSs end up providing training for multiple companies on an hourly or per diem basis plus expenses. Not surprisingly, the best CNSs transition away from nursing into a full time CNS role.

            As far as I am aware this concept has yet to be explored in the UK .
            Once this space is filled by some enterprising group, my company would seek to avail ourselves of their services,
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            Posted by John Robert Clague (Discussions: 0, Comments: 6)
            Replied on May 18, 2017 8:00 pm
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