Category Archives: Training Dirt

Boston Scientific AngioJet – No Options Besides Manufacturer Service

I received an email from a BMET asking for assistance finding a service manual for a Boston Scientific (formerly Bayer / Medrad) AngioJet Ultra Perhipheral Thromectomy System.  (See the unit HERE.)  I decided to call the company directly to see what they had to say.

According to Tech Support at Boston Scientific, They do not have a service manual for the AngioJet. Upon further discussion, they did admit that they have manuals, but that they are proprietary and are restricted to use by their internal employees.   They maintain that the hospital does have options for service. These options consist of either time and materials or a service contract.

The individual I spoke with tried to tell me that this is very common, and that most medical equipment manufacturers do not provide manuals. Even GE does not provide service manuals for ultrasound machines.   I corrected him.   But he did not sway at all.

I recommend that complete service manuals be made a part of the purchase conditions of every medical equipment purchase, and that the manufacturer’s warranty (both parts and labor) be extended until both service manuals and technical training are provided to hospital-designated staff.

Boston Scientific Technical Division can be reached at 1-800-949-6708.

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Drager unfairly restricting access to manuals

Posted on ECRI’s BiomedTalk May 22, 2014:

Once you attend Draeger’s Apollo training, you will have one year access to their manuals online through their secure system.  Draeger keeps tight control on their technical manuals and expressly warns us about giving copies to anyone not trained as they are traceable.

Does someone’s technical training magically evaporate after 1 year?  If someone attends a service school, their access to service manuals should remain for the life of their career.  It is pretty obvious that Drager is attempting to restrict service on their machines so that they can generate more revenue through annual training or service contracts.  Unless this policy changes, I recommend that NOBODY purchase Drager Apollo units.

 

Pat Lynch

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Training DVD locks up after equipment warranty is over?

I just had a call from an imaging engineer I know.  It seems that someone from his shop attended a Philips training school.  He returned from the school with a CD (or DVD) which had all of the service information on it.   It required a password to access the CD.   Well, when the warranty on the piece of equipment expired, the password to access the CD also expired, and Philips won’t issue another password.  Has anyone else heard of this?

Pat

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Carestream DR1 Mobile System AIAT

Does anyone have a Carestream DR1 mobile system? What should I expect to get for AIAT documentation. I am told from the dealer that sold us this system that we cannot get any type of service documentation until after someone here attends the weeklong training session which costs $5000.00. I have no problem sending someone to the training, but thought we were entitled to some type of documentation to provide us the ability to make basic adjustments if necessary to assure proper system performance. Any and all comments would be welcome.

Thanks,

John Laine

 

Answer:  [from Imagetalk 8/16/2012]

This is correct. You will have to attend their service training in Rochester, NY. You will be granted Carestream’s Secure Link access for one year, entitling you to service access. After that year, you will have to pay $2k per year to keep this access active.

You can do detector calibrations (daily dark & X-ray) without service access but the training is recommended.

Jeff Moser

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Signing a Training Agreement with your Employer

From Imagetalk – December 2011

Our in-house service team has just been asked to sign an agreement every time we get training.  This agreement obligates us to continue our employment for a certain number of years, or pay back the training cost if we leave employment.  I’d like others comment and share their thoughts including any legal issues.

Consider the following;

Cost of Radiology service training (manufacture and third party)

Joint commission competency requirements

Saving associated with lower service coverage after training completed

Who benefits from this training more. Technician or Hospital  Probably the hospital—but then again, only if you actually stick around and work for a significant period following the training, so they realize the intended savings.  They’re footing the bill; they have a right to put enough strings on it to get a fair return on their investment.  On the other hand, the tech gains value in the employment market—the additional skills and knowledge make him/her a more valuable commodity.

Who will be more affected by this agreement, the multi-million dollar hospital or the struggling technician trying to pay the bills.  Worded that way, it’s kind of a loaded question—but as long as you remain where you are, the reimbursement obligation doesn’t kick in and you can keep paying those bills.

Will you even use this training with your next employer Can’t be answered till you know what the next position is, but has a bearing on the next question.  And has no bearing on your current employer’s desire to assure a fair return on investment.

Will the new employer pay this penalty That can be negotiated during salary and compensation negotiations once an offer has been extended.  If the answer to the previous question is “yes,” then it’s more likely that they’ll make you whole on the tuition reimbursement; otherwise, it depends on how badly they want you.  If they say no, then ou have to decide whether the upside of the career move outweighs the resulting tuition reimbursement burden.

What if you refuse to sign Your current employer probably won’t send you to the training

Can you be fired for not signing If you are what is considered an “at-will” employee, your term of employment can be terminated at any time, for any or no reason, by either party.  And most non-union people are.  If there is a union contract involved, then that may have a bearing.

Is this legal In most cases, yes.  If you have serious doubts, contact an attorney that specializes in employment law.  It may not be as expensive as you fear.  And once you describe the situation and the advice you’re seeking, most can give you at least a pretty close estimate of what the advice will cost—and you can decide whether it’s worth that much to you to get a definite read.

If you do sign and you get training once a year, you will never be able to get another job without paying a penalty.  I hesitate to call it a “penalty.”  If you get training, the hospital benefits from lower service costs; you benefit from becoming better skilled and therefore more employable and marketable.  To be perfectly blunt, if both parties benefit, both should share the cost.  If one party shoulders the entire cost burden, then they need some assurance that it will pay off for them.  If the trained party leaves before that happens, in essence benefiting from that increased value (marketability), it is only fair that they pick up the portion of the paying partry’s anticipated benefit that is thus not being realized.

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