3 reasons why the death star needed coverage

Darth Vader's assignment was simple: be an enforcer for the Galactic Empire. Part of that duty was to oversee the Death Star.

The Death Star was a gigantic, spherical space station (think the size of a moon) that could destroy a planet with a superlaser in ONE shot. The superlaser was powered by hypermatter reactors, and they aren't cheap.

So when the Rebel Alliance unexpectedly attacked and destroyed the Death Star, there's no doubt that the fallout gave Vader a headache. That's a lot of downtime and ridiculously expensive repairs. In fact, the Galactic Empire had to build a second death star (which, too, was eventually destroyed).

Obviously the Empire had deep pockets so they could just start fresh and be self-insured, but that's not always the case for healthcare facilities. In a galaxy not so far away, when important medical equipment breaks, it's helpful to have some form of equipment service coverage in place.

Here are the top 3 reasons Darth Vader wished he'd had bought an equipment service plan:

1. Unexpected Failures
The Rebel Alliance was sneaky. They stole the Death Star's schematics so that they could plan a covert attack. Vader was too busy fighting for the Emperor to worry about keeping the superlaser functional. Even though Vader knew the Death Star wouldn't last forever—no equipment does—they weren't prepared for unexpected failures. The result? The Death Star blew up.

In hospitals, equipment like ultrasounds, MRIs, probes, and x-ray systems are crucial to caring for patients. When medical equipment breaks, it's rarely expected and never convenient. Just like Vader didn't have time to worry about spies infiltrating the base, doctors don't have time to worry about the downtime of probes failing leak tests, microscope lasers malfunctioning, or c-arms producing grainy images. While it's preferable to have back-up equipment for such events, not every facility can rely on back-up equipment because not every facility has the funds available. And what if the back-up equipment fails, too?

With a service plan in place, a knowledgeable technician can get onsite to address the problems quickly. Depending on the situation, some medical equipment is best left on the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) agreement because of proprietary parts; in other situations, EMMPs (Equipment Maintenance Management Programs) are able to utilize multiple service vendors instead of being dependent on just one vendor.

2. Saves Money in The Long Run
It took 20+ years to build the Death Star, and according to the Shortlist.com, students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania calculated that it cost $8.1 quadrillion to build the Death Star (that's 15 zeroes)! With equipment that expensive, it shouldn't be left exposed. One extensive repair could be financially crippling.

Brand new medical equipment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some MRI machines can cost upwards of $400,000. Some X-ray systems fall in the $100,000 range. CT Scanners could be anywhere from $65,000 to $300,000. With price tags like that, simple repairs could cost thousands of dollars. Then you have to consider that the more wear-and-tear a piece of equipment goes through, the greater the chances are for frequent failures.

With reimbursement rates continually being reduced, cost containment is very important in the healthcare industry. But too often healthcare providers let warranties expire and gamble with handling repairs as they happen—and keep their fingers crossed that they don't happen. While OEM and ISO (Independent Service Organization) service agreements cover repairs, they can be expensive. EMMP service agreements offer significant and sustainable discounts for many different types of equipment. Consider the long-term effects of not having an agreement at all – just one or two repairs could be a huge hit to the budget.

3. Keeps The Customers Happy
Because of a broken Death Star, Vader and the Empire had to put their goals of conquering the galaxy on hold. It delayed plans for expansion, and there were a lot of angry supporters. That's not good business.

In healthcare facilities, frequent downtime hurts patient satisfaction and can harm the facility's reputation as a top-notch provider. Whether it's rescheduling or canceling appointments, when patient care is delayed, everyone suffers. Having an equipment maintenance plan in place helps prevent staff from worrying about hunting down a reputable service company.

Know Your Options
From being ready for unexpected failures, to saving money in the long run, to keeping customers happy—there are many reasons why having equipment maintenance coverage is beneficial. So when warranties expire, it's wise to make sure valuable equipment stays covered.

There are alternatives to the standard OEM contract; do your research on ISOs and EMMPs to figure out which option is appropriate for your organization as well as your budget. Look for service providers who are trustworthy and reliable and who have industry experience to manage your equipment types.

Don't be like Darth Vader. Be proactive now to avoid your equipment turning into expensive and time-consuming "Death Star-like" hassles in the future.

Deanna Johnston and Jennifer Daugherty are Business Development Coordinators at Remi, the proven alternative to manufacturer service contracts and extended warranties. Remi helps hospitals, labs, surgery centers and other healthcare facilities by replacing existing manufacturer agreements with one all¬-inclusive program. We develop a customized program to meet your unique needs and put you back in control of your maintenance expenditures, while favorably impacting your bottom line. To learn more about Remi and the services we provide, visit www.theremigroup.com or call 1-888-451-8916, #1.

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