Case Study | May 22, 2006

St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO

Although healthcare budgets are tight, needs are expanding. Clinical facilities are continuously looking for ways to keep their budgets intact when purchasing medical equipment, without sacrificing quality and reliability, and while still offering their patients the quality of care they deserve.

One solution that is increasingly emerging is refurbished units by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). In the fall of 2004, St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO, decided to replace their existing fluoroscopy/EP system. Like so many other small hospitals, however, St. John's had a limited budget and was, therefore, faced with the challenge of finding ways to get the best possible outcome from their investment.

“After hearing about the Proven Excellence program Siemens Refurbished Systems offers, we got excited about the possibilities,” said Tim Smith, manager of the cardiac cath lab. With its Proven Excellence program, the company offers its customers the opportunity to extend their given resources and still obtain equipment with outstanding quality.

Each system undergoes an in-depth Proven Excellence refurbishing process that helps to achieve ”like-new” quality. In addition, this process ensures that the systems are refurbished to meet Siemens' stringent quality assurance standards as well as internationally recognized quality system standards. The Proven Excellence program offers customers tailor-made solutions with refurbished medical systems that cost up to 30 percent less.

The purchase of OEM refurbished equipment allowed St. John's to replace their existing imaging system while staying within their given budget; it also allowed them to gain additional functionality. Instead of simply replacing their existing EP-only system, which can be used solely for fluoroscopy, they opted to purchase a refurbished AXIOM Artis FC combination unit. In addition to the EP/fluoro functionality, the system also enabled them to perform cardiac cath lab procedures.

St. John's was also able to perform peripheral studies, which are usually carried out in an angio suite. This allowed the facility to expand their realm of studies as well as to increase their overall departmental revenue. “In speaking with the staff and physicians, they all agreed that having a ‘combo’ imaging system would not only increase the output of our EP program but also give us the ability to increase volumes with peripheral studies,” Smith said. “Especially considering limited budgets, a refurbished system seemed to be a promising alternative.”

While researching their investment possibilities in medical equipment, St. John's learned that unlike other used equipment offers, only OEM refurbished units guarantee that the equipment has been refurbished and tested according to original test specifications from the trusted OEM while using original test equipment. Moreover, they found out that only the OEM can offer its customers a complete solution, including project management, installation, application, warranty and flexible service contracts. Most importantly, St. John's did not have to sacrifice image quality with the purchase of refurbished equipment since the OEM program they chose offers “like-new” imaging systems with outstanding quality at an excellent price-performance ratio.

“Due to our limited budget, the decision to go with a refurbished system was definitely the right one from a financial standpoint,” said Smith. “We were not concerned about the quality and reliability of a refurbished unit at all — we have had nothing but good experiences with our Siemens Artis system and were confident that a refurbished unit would deliver the same satisfying results.”

Having worked with their refurbished EP/fluoro system for almost a year now, St. John's is very satisfied with the results and their decision to purchase OEM refurbished equipment. As Smith stated, “We mainly associate great quality with the Siemens brand. The AXIOM Artis has an incredible imaging system, and we are very pleased with its performance, which convinced us to invest in additional Siemens equipment.”

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