Why maintenance and service matters – David Gibson EschmannFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 18th October 2019
Much like your washing machine or your boiler, it’s likely that you wouldn’t think twice about the everyday equipment in your practice until something goes wrong.
But what do you do when an essential piece of technology like your autoclave has a problem? It’s important to resolve issues with such equipment promptly so that your practice doesn’t suffer the consequences.
The repercussions of a breakdown
An important piece of equipment breaking down has more far-reaching repercussions than simply the financial expense of repair/replacement. Although the financial side is definitely a significant factor, disruptions to your service can cause more pressing issues.
Being unable to offer your usual care can quickly cause a financial sting as well. If you are unable to see patients due to instruments not being effectively decontaminated, then you will lose out on their fees, and this can quickly start to mount up. Even if you have more than one autoclave, if you have a high volume of patients your remaining equipment may not be able to keep up with demand, and this can mean longer waiting times for patients.
You also have to consider the potential impact on your patients. For many people, a visit to the dentist is something not to look forward to. When cancelling appointments with these patients it’s likely that they will quickly become upset, especially if they have taken time off work or changed their social plans to make the original appointment time. In the worst-case scenario, this may even lead to patients seeking dental treatment elsewhere, and this can permanently damage the reputation of your practice, especially if breakdowns aren’t sorted in a suitable timeframe.
Fixing technical problems fast is the only way to prevent these issues from occurring, and that requires having reliable breakdown cover.
Maintenance is imperative
As the old saying “prevention is better than cure” suggests, it is always better to ensure your equipment is maintained properly so that the chances of a breakdown are minimal to begin with. It’s likely that you already have regular checks by staff in place, but do you also have regular services scheduled with the manufacturer/ supplier of your autoclave? These visits are an excellent way to extend the life of your machine without having to worry about interrupting patient care.
Many manufacturers will have their own team of specialist engineers who are fully trained in servicing the piece of equipment you own. They will know what to look out for, as well as what steps you can take to reduce any wear and keep your machine running for longer.
What to do when the unthinkable happens
Equipment breakdowns happen, sometimes without rhyme or reason. In this case, you need to start looking for someone to evaluate the extent of the problem and repair/replace the system as soon as possible.
One of the key things to consider when choosing a repair service is the parts they use. Ideally, you want to choose people who will be able to replace the faulty elements in your autoclave with original parts from the manufacturer. Years of design and innovation go into the creation of dental technology, and therefore if you replace a part with something different from the original there is every chance that a breakdown will repeat. This is especially true if the new part isn’t fully suited/as durable as its predecessor. A new part may even influence the efficacy of the machine in question, and this can have major fallouts. If your autoclave is unknowingly decontaminating instruments poorly, there is a chance that infections could spread, and this would inevitably lead to some very serious, if not practice-closing, legal action against you.
Another thing to consider is how fast these services can help you. Do they have a call out on the same day available? Are they willing to work outside of operating hours if necessary? These factors can often be more important than the financial cost of the service, especially if you want to get your normal operations back on track as soon as possible.
It’s likely that your autoclave will have some sort of warranty. This should cover most eventualities in cases of breakdown, but once this warranty expires it’s good to ensure the manufacturer has some ongoing protection available for you should any problems occur later.
Eschmann, home of the Little Sister autoclaves, acts as a fourth emergency service and ensures that every professional can protect their autoclaves with its exceptional Care&Cover protection. This warranty not only includes up to two scheduled service visits per year (depending on the equipment), but it also provides nationwide coverage by UK engineers, all of whom have been trained to repair Eschmann products using only original parts.
Keep it smooth
Maintenance, servicing and good breakdown cover are essential in order to keep your systems running smoothly. By choosing a manufacturer that offers good cover, you can help your practice stay functioning as normal, even if the worst should ever occur.
For more information on the highly effective and affordable range of decontamination equipment and products from Eschmann, please visit www.eschmann.co.uk or call 01903 753322
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