Georgia health network tasks ISO with improving women’s imaging equipment uptime while slashing costs.

While the Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) has a robust network covering four hospital campuses—with more than 1,200 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties—the non-profit organization has raised its ambitions by looking for ways to streamline costs while maintaining top-notch patient care.

NGHS, which offers advanced imaging and radiology services, specifically looked for new ways to maintain its robust women’s health imaging specialty, while also introducing overall operational cost efficiencies.

Making the Best Even Better

Under its radiology and imaging services umbrella, NGHS facilities provide 3D mammography stereotactic breast biopsy, breast MRI, and several other advanced diagnostic technologies dedicated to its women’s health imaging specialty.

The non-profit’s equipment install base for mammography is through Hologic, which has successfully served NGHS operations with no historical issues. And while Hologic has provided the non-profit with the equipment necessary to support its patients, NGHS Imaging sought to find a service that would offer an OEM-level of support to help it manage the women’s health and breast imaging side of its overall healthcare system.

Striking the Right Balance

Therein lied a new challenge for the Northeast Georgia Health System: finding a service that provided an OEM-level of support and management of its imaging medical equipment, which understood the importance of ensuring equipment is operating efficiently while also being able to maintain appropriate communication with the equipment’s OEM, as needed.

NGHS wanted to ensure that they were implementing a system that could provide a delicate balance of ensuring patient care service excellence and physician satisfaction, while also streamlining operational costs.

NGHS then turned to Renovo Solutions, which provides healthcare technology management solutions to help reduce costs, increase the quality of the organizations it supports, and improve medical equipment performance. Renovo Solutions was able to help NGHS by overseeing their women’s imaging equipment and achieving the balance the healthcare system was seeking.

“We’re managing the equipment, but Hologic is turning the wrenches, and they’re doing the service work and making sure those systems are operating properly because downtime is not acceptable,” says Matt Forrest, senior director of sales and marketing for Renovo Solutions.

Renovo maintains multiple vendor contracts, including one with Hologic, which has enabled the organizations to develop rapport.

Still, Michele Eckenroth, director of outpatient imaging at NGHS, admits that she had her doubts. “We were initially skeptical on how Renovo Solutions was going to be able to provide OEM-level support at a reduced service cost,” she says. Fortunately, such fears proved to be unfounded. “Year-one, we saw savings, and continue to experience considerable savings along with proactive, responsive support,” Eckenroth says.

A Win-Win Partnership

Through this new service agreement, Northeast Georgia Health System not only realized annual equipment maintenance savings year-over-year, the non-profit also reaped a 97% increase in uptime of its women’s health and breast imaging equipment.

Under this program, Renovo Solutions has been able to provide NGHS with five key benefits:

  1. Assistance with equipment compliance to Mammograpy Quality Standards Act and American College of Radiology accreditation requirements
  2. Timely management of all service events
  3. Preventative maintenance and accreditation requirements
  4. Tracking and resolving ongoing equipment issues
  5. Assistance with equipment lifecycle planning

“I’ve been impressed with the timeliness, organization, and communication we receive from Renovo. They initiate when things arise and also follow-up on the backend to help ensure our equipment is up-and running,” says Kourtney Farrow, manager of mammography, NGMC Gainesville, which is one of NGHS’s four hospital campuses.

In other words, a win-win partnership indeed.