Purchasing, installing, and commissioning radiological equipment may be complex and expensive tasks depending on the type of equipment. Maintaining it so that the manufacturer’s specifications continue to be met years after years of clinical use presents challenges. Updating software may be critical, but it may not be free; yet, it is usually not included in the purchasing price. After the warranty period is over, medical facilities are faced with difficult maintenance choices. And if the equipment is donated, the problems may be even worse, due to lack of spare parts and/or operation and maintenance manuals, or even because of the language of the written instructions and displays, which may be in the original donor’s language. An additional challenge is how to decide when equipment shall be discarded because of obsolescence or safety issues. What is the process and who is to make the decision?
This workshop will explore the role of biomedical engineers at the design stage, the clinical engineers role in the training of local staff and coordinating with the manufacturer’s representatives for basic service issues (i.e. fuse or electronic board replacement), the advantages and disadvantages of contracting 3
party vs manufacturers maintenance services and the added complication, usually dealt with by medical physicists, of ensuring radiation safety and compliance with national/ international radiation protection regulations. The critical matters in developing countries, where often facilities will ask a donor for new equipment rather than fixing the otherwise adequate one, will be emphasized. Cost issues, training issues, environmental limitations, attitudes, all play roles - what can biomedical/clinical engineers and medical physicists do to alleviate the problems? Of the various alternatives to provide service, which one is the best, when, where, why? Suggestions for solutions from the audience will be elicited and final recommendations by the panel will be drawn.