Reliability and Customer Service Key to Injector Uptime and CT Department Workflow

Jenelle Isaacson, Contributing Editor

In a busy hospital imaging department, maintaining high device uptime levels is critical. If an injector malfunctions or needs repair, it can affect the patient schedule, causing a ripple effect of delays across the organization. While these device malfunctions should be rare, they are inevitable in a high-use department. When they do occur, a strong relationship with the device supplier and service department is critical to repairing the device, minimizing downtime and maintaining reliability.

At NYU’s Langone Health, the two CT scanners on the main campus are used to perform about 140 patient exams a day—all in less than 12 hours. The radiology department uses Bracco’s EmpowerCTA@+ Injector System and has a been a Bracco customer for more than 15 years. They rely on the efficiency of the EmpowerCTA@+ system to support their high throughput department.

“It’s a 10 minute workflow,” said Cicil Chamakalayi, assistant director of CT, US and X-Ray Services for NYU Langone Health. “We need patients in and out of the room in that amount of time. So that’s loading the injector, getting the patient on the scanner, performing the scan, taking them off and cleaning the room. All within 10 minutes. Having equipment that is highly reliable is probably of the highest priority.”

The CT department at UCLA Health System provides 24-hour support and imaging for trauma patients. Lead CT technologist Amelia Patterson agrees with the importance of quick and reliable service in a busy department.

“When you’re in a facility where your equipment is used constantly, service is really important,” Patterson said. And when a device malfunctions, “we want the service to be done right away—whatever needs to be fixed—because we are a trauma center.”

When an issue arises, such an injector not communicating or loading properly, Patterson says the first step is to contact their service representative for assistance. They will troubleshoot the error message over the phone, and if necessary, schedule a prompt service visit. Patterson said their Bracco service reps are sensitive to the department’s full schedule, even if that means the technician must arrive before the earliest appointment of the day.

“They’re very flexible,” Patterson said. “We do have a lot of patients starting at 6:30, or even 6 a.m., but they manage to come to do the work.”

Bracco offers customers silver and gold level service agreement plans for their EmpowerCTA@+ devices. Depending on which level the customer chooses, this service agreement includes priority next day service, loaner equipment during downtimes, 24/7 call center support and annual maintenance.

“Knowing that we can call our service rep or our service engineer and have them come on site as soon as possible and have the piece of equipment back up and running next day, if not the same day, I think is vital to our workflow here,” Chamakalayi said.

Bracco service engineers also perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure devices are performing appropriately and to replace or repair any parts that may be wearing out due to normal use. The injectors are programmed to notify technicians via a pop-up alert when it’s time for routine service. A service engineer will then work to schedule the preventive maintenance for at a time that accommodates the department’s busy schedule. In most cases, the engineer will anticipate what specific elements will need replacement and will come prepared with the appropriate parts.

“They’ll run the machine through some tests and they’ll replace parts that need to get replaced,” said Bernard Assadourian, CT quality and safety manager at NYU Langone Health. “As far as the service people, they’ve been really reliable. They listen when we have a problem. And they’re knowledgeable about what they’re doing.“

Through 2019, Bracco’s contract services had an uptime of 99.2%. “The product is reliable; we rarely call for service,” said Mabel Okyere, Lead CT Technologist for NYU Langone Health. “The last six months or a year, we’ve called once or twice. That’s very good because we use it a lot.” When they do need to call, the service reps are readily accessible and reliable.

“We have a really personal relationship with them,” Okyere said. “We call them and they respond to you right away.”

Bracco’s commitment to quality service recently earned them the NorthFace ScoreBoard award for excellence in customer service, as rated by their customers. The award, from the Customer Relationship Management Institute (CRMI) and Market Intelligence International (Marketii), measures customer satisfaction with services on a 5-point scale (or an equivalent rating system) in such categories as technical support, field service, customer service, account management, professional services and other customer facing functions. Bracco’s injector service achieved a 4.0 or above out of a possible 5.0 or an equivalent rating system over the entire year.

“Service is excellent; no question about that,” Patterson said. “I’ve seen a lot of reps and specialists come from Bracco. It’s a good company. Good people.”

Click here to find your local Bracco representative.

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The views, information, or opinions expressed in the video(s) or article(s) above are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Bracco Diagnostics Inc. (“BDI”). The primary purpose of this video(s) or article(s) is to educate and inform. This information does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System

INDICATIONS:

The EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System is indicated for the vascular administration of contrast and flushing media in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) scanning of the body with an optional interface to a CT scanner and an optional calculator for glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

The Extravasation Detection Accessory (EDA) is an optional accessory and is indicated for the detection of extravasations of ionic and nonionic contrast during CT procedures using a power injector.

Protocols have been independently developed and are not intended as medical advice. Bracco and Bracco Injeneering S.A. shall not be responsible for any physicians’ reliance on these or any other products.

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

The EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System is not intended for use as a long-term infusion pump, nor is it intended to be used to inject any agents other than contrast or flushing media. Do not attempt to use the Injector for any other purpose (such as chemotherapy or drug infusion). The EmpowerCTA+ Injector System should not be used to inject substances into nonvascular body cavities. Any applications of the EmpowerCTA+ Injector System other than those described in its Operator Manual are inappropriate and should not be attempted.

Not all products are available in all global markets.

EmpowerCTA+ is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Bldg. H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); Professional Services: 1-800-257-5181 (Option 2); EmpowerCTA+ Email: empowerinfo@diag.bracco.com; Website: https://smartinject.com/ct-solutions/

EmpowerCTA+ is manufactured for Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sevelin 46, CH – 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. https://www.bracco.com/

 

EmpowerMR® Injector System

Caution: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

INDICATIONS:

The EmpowerMR® Injector System is indicated for vascular administration of contrast media and flushing media in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Protocols have been independently developed and are not intended as medical advice and Bracco shall not be responsible for any physicians' reliance on these or any other protocols.

Bracco Injeneering S.A. reserves the right at any time and without notice, to change the specifications and features described herein, or to change the production or adjust the product described.

Not all products are available in all global markets.

EmpowerMR is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Bldg. H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); Professional Services: 1-800-257-5181 (Option 2); Website: https://smartinject.com/mr-solutions/

EmpowerMR is manufactured for Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sevelin 46 CH – 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. https://www.bracco.com/

 

NEXO® Contrast Management System

Intended Use:

The NEXO® Contrast Management System is a server-based application intended to be used as a data-management and visualization system. The NEXO Contrast Management System is able to read, store, share, compare/relate, as well as graphically display data and injection programs coming from RIS, PACS and multiple enabled EmpowerCTA®Injector Systems. This device provides users with record-lists, graphics and reports about data and performances.

This device is intended for retrospective and statistical data management and visualization. It is not intended for real-time data visualization, diagnostic applications or for any other use for which the device is not indicated. This device is only to be operated by and under quasi-continuous supervision of qualified and trained staff in an appropriate licensed healthcare facility.

The NEXO Contrast Management System is compatible with the EmpowerCTA Injector System version 8.0, and EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System version 9.0 and higher.

Bracco Injeneering S.A. reserves the right at any time and without notice, to change the specifications and features described herein, or to change the production or adjust the product described.

Not all products are available in all global markets.

NEXO is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; NEXO Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); NEXO questions: Nexo.Answers@diag.bracco.com; NEXO U.S. Technical Service and Support: Phone: 888-670-7701; Fax: 609-514-2448; NEXO Email: customer.support@acistmedical.com; Website: https://smartinject.com/digital-solutions

NEXO is manufactured by Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sévelin 46, CH-1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. https://www.bracco.com/

 

About Bracco Injeneering S.A.

Bracco Injeneering S.A., located in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the most recently added Business Unit of Bracco Imaging. Bracco Injeneering is committed to developing the best-in-class integrated injection solutions with a strong heritage in research and innovation. It provides quality solutions for state-of-the-art radiology centers, offering proven injection technology, built on Bracco Imaging’s expertise.

Thanks to this strengthened product portfolio, including the CT Exprès® 3D Contrast Media Delivery System, EmpowerCTA+ Injector System, EmpowerMR® Injector System, and NEXO® Contrast Management System, Bracco Imaging will be able to focus on constant innovation, not only for devices but also for software development and data management.

CT Exprès, EmpowerCTA, EmpowerMR, IRiSCT, and NEXO are registered trademarks of Bracco Injeneering S.A.

EDA and FastLoad are trademarks of Bracco Injeneering S.A.

These are representative images from reference studies; individual results may vary.

© 2023 Bracco Diagnostics Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION  |  INDICATIONS AND USAGE

EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System

Caution: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

INDICATIONS:

The EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System is indicated for the vascular administration of contrast and flushing media in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) scanning of the body with an optional interface to a CT scanner and an optional calculator for glomerular filtration rate (GFR).