Endoscope repair: OEM or ISO? Sometimes both make sense
Healthcare organizations generally have two options when they are looking to repair their endoscopic devices: Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Independent Service Organizations (ISOs), which are commonly referred to as “third-party repair companies.” How do you choose?
It makes sense to have the OEM repair equipment that has just been released into the marketplace. It takes most ISOs at least a year to engineer or procure OEM-quality components for a new product. Further, new equipment typically comes with a one-year warranty so, during that period, it’s a good idea to take advantage of warranty coverage. Of course, most OEM warranties do not cover user damage. If your repair involves damage that is not covered under the OEM warranty, you should send it to a qualified ISO for a competitive bid.
When there is no possibility of OEM warranty coverage, turn to a qualified ISO. This option can offer shorter turnaround times, lower costs and a higher level of service. The main goal of an ISO is to keep the equipment you already have in good working condition for as long as possible, while most manufacturers are focused on selling new equipment.
When evaluating ISOs, be sure they meet this minimum criteria:
Any quality ISO will be able to provide references from healthcare organizations they are servicing. Look for a company that serves a variety of customers, including hospitals, surgery centers and independent practitioners.
Professional Repair Facility
Visit the ISO facility before you send in any of your expensive endoscopy equipment for repair. Tour the site and meet with the management team, including the head technician, director of operations, quality control manager and office manager. Chances are, if a facility only has two or three employees wearing many hats, they are outsourcing repairs to other third-party companies.
Customer Service Representatives
Meet the customer service representative(s) that will be assigned to your account. Make sure they are local and will respond to your needs within one business day. Confirm that they have a good working knowledge of endoscopes and endoscopy systems and are capable of troubleshooting minor problems on-site. For more complex issues, ensure your representative has quick access to technical support.
Reputable ISOs provide a variety of support tools and educational resources at no additional cost. These generally include regular “in-service” training sessions on the proper care and handling of endoscopes. To help you avoid incurring costly damage to your equipment, in-service training will ensure your staff is familiar with and follows OEM reprocessing guidelines. A reputable ISO will also share best practices from experts in the endoscopy industry to help you establish effective policies and procedures for your unit or practice.
Since 1995, aei has consistently delivered OEM-quality workmanship at an affordable price. We adhere to proven endoscope repair protocol, performed by expert technicians under rigorous quality standards. As a GMP-certified company, our repair process satisfies the thoroughness of an independent audit. To ensure compliance, our 8,000 s.f. service center has a separately managed Quality Control Department.