For years, the company now known as AIV Inc (Hanover, Md) was referred to as American IV. Since the company has changed to include worldwide operations, it has adopted a new moniker. AIV focuses on supporting a hospitals clinical engineering department with engineered and manufactured replacement parts, accessories, and specialized repair services. Its customers include more than 2,000 domestic acute-care hospitals, leading independent service organizations, alternate-site facilities, and international distributors. AIVs major business lines consist of medical-device repair, including pulse oximeter sensors, fetal monitoring transducers and intravenous pumps; and the sale of related parts and accessories, such as pulse oximeter extension cables, replacement batteries, power cords, and recertified parts. Richard Stacey, COO of AIV Inc, spoke to 24×7 about the products and services it provides.
24×7: Tell me a little about the history of your company.
Richard Stacey: AIV began operations more than 20 years ago as a dealer in refurbished medical equipment, a market that came with the twin challenges of tight deadlines and large outlays of capital. AIVs response was to build a core competency in the design and manufacture of service parts to support a fast, cost-efficient business. We have leveraged this core competency successfully for the past 2 decades to become a premier repair depot for health care providers and to emerge as a leading supplier of service parts and accessories.
24×7: What are a few of the challenges you have encountered over the years? What have you done to overcome them?
Stacey: The biggest challenges we have faced are the growing complexity of the equipment we support and our entrance into the global market. Both of these have brought us face to face with new technologies and a heightened regulatory environment. We responded by expanding our technical expertise and establishing a formal regulatory affairs and quality assurance department. The former has allowed us stay ahead of the curve with respect to new technology. The latter has had a far broader effect on the company. Since establishing this department, we have successfully implemented ISO 9001:2000 and achieved compliance with FDA quality system regulation (QSR) standards. Moreover, we are working steadily toward implementing ISO 13485, the international standard for medical device manufacturers.
24×7: What makes AIV Inc different from other companies who offer similar services?
Stacey: A number of companies sell similar products and services. Two examples are repair services for fetal transducers and pulse oximeter sensors. We perform repairs on every transducer and sensor that customers send to us. Almost none of the other companies offering the same type of repair can say the same thing. Typically, these companies partner with repair depots and pass the repairs to them, which drives up the cost to the health care facility and increases turnaround time. Companies selling repair services do this because they lack the design-engineering expertise to support a full-service repair. AIV is different in that it sells its own expertise, not a partners.
24×7: How does your company plan to accommodate changes in the market? Where do you see the company 5 years from now?
Stacey: Companies that manufacture patient-care equipment are accelerating product-development cycles and are focusing on smaller, more mobile equipment. This trend will result in a greater number of increasingly complex units. Parallel to that is the financial pressure that third-party payors will continue to exert on health care facilities, resulting in less room in the budget for operating expenses like repair and maintenance. These two trends will put even greater pressure on clinical engineers, as they try to keep a facilitys equipment in service with fewer resources. Over the next 5 years, AIV plans to expand its focus beyond infusion therapy and patient monitoring in order to assist clinical engineers in their growing need for support.
24×7: What would you like 24×7s readers to know about AIV Inc?
Stacey: AIV was founded by an engineer, and we have maintained an engineers bias toward detail and technical expertise. This heritage has helped us maintain a fundamental understanding of the challenges our customers face every day.
We know what its like to have too much equipment to fix and not enough time to fix it. In a sense, our company seeks to alleviate the pain with which we have been all too familiar. 24×7