This is even more important in healthcare, as medical devices are on the frontline of patient care and safety. In fact, as more and more healthcare is delivered via specialized digitized equipment, and as most patient information is stored, accessed and managed in Electronic Health Records (EHR), identifying, responding to and resolving issues or downtime in critical systems becomes that much more important to improve patient outcomes. During an unexpected downtime, healthcare workers are rapidly forced to use rarely practiced, paper-based methods, for healthcare delivery. In some instances, patient safety is compromised, or data is exposed to parties seeking profit. According to Health Informatics Journal, 166 US hospitals experienced a total of 701 days of downtime in 43 events between 2012 and 2018.
FSM: Resolving medical device issues as quickly and comprehensively as possible
Most FSM solutions and service providers focus on and deliver the following core capabilities:
- Asset management (status, service & parts history, warranty status)
- Incident management (response to service calls, call tracking, ticket assignment, dispatch, fleet, and service technician management)
- Preventative maintenance (scheduled maintenance management, maintenance tasking)
Some platforms have started to integrate data from IoT systems to provide real-time status information. Others have implemented collaboration tools, cloud infrastructure, and seamless desktop/laptop/tablet/mobile device FSM management to be deployed across the service organization. However, most solutions are still solving today’s service technician-centric operating model, where platform + process + people are all focused on getting the right technician, with the right parts, to the right customer, at the right time.
At RealVNC, we believe that troubleshooting and problem-solving should start as soon as a service call is received. And sometimes even before the call, based on real-time asset monitoring. By having the right secure remote access and support technology, OEMs and FSM service providers can reduce mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) and therefore critical machine downtime. This is done by remotely connecting to the device and doing initial troubleshooting, as well as potential incident resolution. Imagine being able to conduct routine or emergency repair to a device deployed hours away from the nearest service tech. In many cases, the issue can be resolved successfully by an experienced remote service technician. Even if the machine failure requires onsite service, remote troubleshooting can ensure that the right tech is dispatched, with the right parts, to quickly solve the issue.
Remote field service management involves the following elements:
- Properly configuring the remote device to be able to accept secure incoming remote connections – this is usually done by pre-installing the remote access client on the device prior to shipping/installation
- Implementing secure processes to authenticate and enable remote connections. The device operator will assign secure login and authentication credentials to trusted 3rd party FSMs or the OEM’s own service team. This can be done in advance or can be provided to the remote service technician once an incident ticket has been opened.
- The service technician will remotely connect to the device, and conduct device status, troubleshooting and repair activities as if they were standing in front of the device.
- All remote connections are properly logged for future auditing.
Privacy and Security
RealVNC understands and provides solutions for the highly sensitive and regulated healthcare industry. As a result, RealVNC medical device remote support technology is HIPPA-certified, and VNC Connect uses AES-GCM (256-bit AES) encryption to ensure the secrecy and integrity of data while in transit. All encryption is end-to-end, ensuring no one can read the data in transit, including RealVNC. As opposed to other similar solutions, RealVNC offers dual connectivity, allowing you to choose between a direct (LAN) connection or a cloud-brokered connection. With additional features such as two-factor authentication and treating every connection as if it is made in a hostile environment, we ensure the privacy and security of medical devices in hospitals, outpatient clinics, as well as in patients’ own environments.
Improving patient outcomes and safety
In short, RealVNC remote access and support technology for medical devices enhance existing FSM processes by accelerating the service provider’s ability to respond to and resolve medical device malfunctions or required maintenance interventions. By reducing downtime and ensuring proper device function, RealVNC’s medical device access and management solution enable health care providers to focus on improving patient outcomes and safety.
VNC Connect is also HIPAA compliant, access our exclusive eBook below!