GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha,Wis.) in February rededicated its technical support facility in Arlington, Texas, renaming it the GE Medical Systems Multivendor Services Technical Center of Excellence.

In an effort to strengthen the company’s ability to provide service support for multivendor, or non-GE, systems, GEMS poured more than $5 million into the 25,000-square-foot building it has maintained since 1997. That investment included the acquisition of more than 25 imaging systems from various manufacturers for training field engineers and developing service technologies.

Michael Swinford, general manager of multivendor services for GEMS Healthcare Services, refers to the facility as a “global customer show site” and “a one-stop shop.” He says GEMS made the investment in the center “with the intent to vertically integrate the overall support infrastructure of a hospital by taking their customers to one service provider and having one facility and one operation that encompasses all of their multivendor technologies.”

Among the multivendor equipment that GEMS installed for training and technology development purposes: a Marconi MX8000 CT Scanner, Siemens’ Hip-Top Cathlab and eCam Nuclear Gamma Camera, ADAC Vertex Nuclear Gamma Camera, Lorad MIV Mammo, Toshiba Opart MRI and the Acuson Sequoia Ultrasound.

Keynote speakers will address the human side of space flight and the implications of digital hospitals at the American Association of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) conference scheduled for June 14-17 in Long Beach, Calif.

On Monday, June 16, former astronaut and Space Shuttle commander retired Air Force Col. Rick Searfoss will explore the similarities between astronauts and biomedical professionals in working with medical technology and interacting with various departments. He also will narrate a 10-minute movie about his last mission, the 1998 STS-90 Neurolab flight, which has been described as the most complex space mission to date.

Searfoss will speak beginning at 8:15 a.m.

On Tuesday, June 17, Siegfried Bocionek, Ph.D., chief operating officer of Siemens’ Medical Solutions Health Services (Malvern, Pa.), will discuss the implications of the digital hospital and its effect on healthcare delivery and healthcare technology professionals. In an environment where all applications are integrated and both legacy equipment and the newest technology become part of day-to-day activities, major changes are in store for hospital staff across the board.

10th Annual Event Stresses Education
Sandy Morford will deliver the keynote address at the 10th annual DITEC (Solon, Ohio) 2K3 Continuing Education Conference scheduled for May 21-23.

The conference, to be held in Twinsburg, Ohio, near Cleveland, will feature seminars on the following topics: PACS, Networking and DICOM, Imaging, Biomedical and Laboratory Service, New Technology, Management Skills, Professional Development, Multivendor Service, Regulatory and Performance Environments.

Morford, president and CEO, Genesis Technology Partners (San Dimas, Calif.), will speak following the opening breakfast reception on May 21. Morford is considered an authority on clinical technology management programs with more than 20 years experience designing and implementing capital asset management programs in hospitals and healthcare systems. He is an ICC-certified clinical engineer; he also holds degrees in biomedical engineering and business administration.

The People’s Republic of China has set in motion a series of steps that will culminate in the end of a five-year ban on the importation of preowned and refurbished medical equipment into the country.

The Chinese government’s decree reverses a ban that went into effect in January 1998 on the importation of used electro-mechanical equipment, including medical equipment.

The decree takes effect May 1.

Don Bogutski, president of the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers (IAMERS of Scottsdale, Ariz.), called the action “enormously positive. The People’s Republic of China has tremendous needs to improve on its healthcare. Given the fact that their economy is doing reasonably well, they still don’t have the ability to support new equipment for all the people who require diagnostic or therapeutic capabilities.”

A new Service Parts Handbook, by Joe Patton and Roy Steele, is available.

With 585 pages and 120 illustrations, this second-edition volume builds on the first edition with updated and additional information on service parts logistics.

The book covers standard terms, principles and practices. It details basic elements of planning and control while also demonstrating concepts, such as Logistics Performance Envelope and Part Acquire Time. New chapters include Outsourcing, Technical Solutions, Warranties and more.

Major multinational companies around the world are keeping a keen watch on how the European Union (EU) Commission will handle two transactions that could have worldwide repercussions.

The board has the power to approve or reject multibillion-dollar deals and observers see the EU Commission becoming more protective of antitrust standards.

EU investigators currently are conducting a four-month, in-depth probe into a proposed joint venture between Siemens AG (Erlangen, Germany) and Drägerwerk AG (Lübeck, Germany). Under that plan, Siemens would hold a 35 percent stake in Dräger Medical AG & Co. KgaA in return for Siemens’ Electromedical Systems division. (See Drager Medical, Siemens Enter into Joint Venture, July 2002 24×7 Browser.)

The Radiological Services Training Institute (RSTI of Solon, Ohio) announces several training opportunities for the month of June. As class size is limited, anyone interested in the following courses is advised to make arrangements promptly.

June 2-6: GE AMX Portables: I, II, III, IV and 4 Plus
June 2-13: Filmless Integration, PACS, Networking, DICOM, MCSE Preparation, Phase V
June 2-13: Principles of Servicing Computed Tomography (CT), Level I
June 9-12: Starting and Managing a Diagnostic Imaging Capital Asset Management Program
June 9-13: USSC/Lorad Abbi Table
June 16-27: Servicing Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound: Acuson, HP and ATL systems
June 16-27: Principles of Servicing Diagnostic X-ray Systems, Phase I
June 16-27: Advanced Fluoroscopic System Maintenance, Phase III

For additional information, call RSTI at (440) 349-4700. To register for courses, call the registrar’s office at (800) 229-7784 or send an e-mail to The RSTI Web site address is

Zoll Medical Corp. (Burlington, Mass.) in February signed a multiyear, strategic distribution agreement with AED@Home LLC (Elgin, Ill.) in a move designed to target the home defibrillator market in the United Sates.

While financial details of the agreement were not made public, the two companies said in a prepared statement that Zoll made a direct minority equity investment in AED@Home LLL, a company that provides assistance and support to consumers who need to maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED) in their homes. For its part, AED@Home will market the Zoll AED Plus product.

Equipment Management & Technology Solutions (EMTS of Englewood, Colo.) has been tapped to provide capital equipment cost reduction services to MultiSource, the shared services affiliate of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA of Glen Allen, Va.).

“We chose EMTS as our partner because every one of our hospitals can benefit from their service,” Kevin Price, vice president of MultiSource, said in a prepared statement. “We are sincerely looking forward to this partnership because it strives to meet one of our most important goals, reducing our customers’ operating and capital expenses.”
The VHHA was founded in 1926 as a trade association of Virginia Hospitals. Through MultiSource, VHHA members have access to products and services designed to help them manage costs effectively.

 (L-R) Neil Johnson, CABMET secretary, Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital, GE Medical; Tim Keenan, CABMET president, St. Anthony’s Hospital; David Scott, CABMET vice president, Children’s Hospital, Hospital Shared Services. Not pictured: Jeff Richardson, Children’s Hospital, HSS; and Rob Sanchez, Mediq Inc. (Pennsauken, N.J.).

The biomed department of The Children’s Hospital (Denver) returned for an encore performance, participating for the second time in the hospital’s Career Day event that was held on Feb. 6.

This time around, department manager and Hospital Shared Services (HSS of Denver) employee David Scott and his colleagues invited students into the biomed shop area where they could get a firsthand look at what being a biomed is all about.

“We had a defib again,” Scott said. “We had a ventilator that we had taken apart — Rob Sanchez from equipment rental company Mediq brought a ventilator. We had a CPM — continuous passive movement — exerciser, syringe pumps, a patient monitor. We took blood pressures again, did pulse oximetry, and we showed them how we can get into different diagnostic modes that help us do our jobs. I also had a respiratory gas monitor from the OR for anesthesia gases that was apart on my desk; I showed them what each piece does and how we can tell it’s working by going in the diagnostic screens, the service screens.”

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