Let’s put something on the operating table: from anesthesia machines to imaging equipment, the global market for medical devices is huge. By 2023, it’s set to be worth $208B in the US alone and a part of the wider 20% of US GDP that healthcare comprises. Pair this growth with the topical increase in healthcare spending with the rise of coronavirus (CONVID-19) and the medical device industry is primed to become more lucrative than ever.
At the center of this storm, over 500 medical device service leaders recently gathered in San Diego, California on February 24-26th to discuss trends, challenges, and strategies facing field service in the medical industry.
With two keynote addresses, two panels, and facilitated roundtable under our belts, ProntoForms was deeply entrenched in the conversations occurring at Field Service Medical. After speaking to top medical field service leaders, here are our top takeaways.
Highly-skilled technicians are the heart of your organization
Risk management in hiring and retaining field technicians was the focus of the keynote speaking engagement and panel session chaired by Marty Gowling, ProntoForms’ VP of Customer Success. These discussions brought the talent management macro trends being experienced by the medical device industry into stark focus.
According to Service Council’s “The Future of Work: Service Workforce Redefined”, field service teams across the board are facing an aging workforce, low employee engagement, and poor technician retention in a zero-unemployment hiring ecosystem. Due to the medical industry’s need for highly-skilled technicians and medical organizations’ deep investment in their technicians, there’s a heightened need for tools and best practices to support techs.
These same highly-skilled medical field technicians work with incredibly complex metrics and assets. Unfortunately, their productivity can be hampered because of process complexities. First-time fix rates can suffer due to challenges associated with capturing important data during service visits with simple, static checklists. The lack of work guidance and SOPs when servicing these can also be demotivating.
And when, according to Service Council’s research, 50% of field technicians believe the systems and processes in place are inadequate to do their jobs properly, technician satisfaction has become a real competitive advantage.
Managing risks and cutting costs is critical
Medical device and life science manufacturers are unique in that their businesses are built on post-sale service of vital, extremely complex healthcare and bioscience equipment. If things go wrong in work execution during a service call, there is a possible risk to not only the business relationship with your customer but also patient outcomes.
While cost-cutting and risk management seem at odds, growing markets and burgeoning customer expectations are prompting medical device companies to look for solutions that can transform field service from a cost center into a source of revenue — without sacrificing the ability to mandate standard operating procedures. ProntoForms’ CEO Alvaro Pombo led a forward-facing panel discussion that looked at viable options for the monetization of field service, with modern automation coming to the fore as a key enabler.
Iterating processes to match changing regulations is key
Following standardized operating procedures are imperative in medical field service. Yet, as FDA and global regulations continuously change, many organizations at Field Service Medical expressed frustration when it came to keeping their processes in-sync. After all, compliance is built into the very nature of medical device manufacturers, where failing an audit can be the difference between being in and out of business.
ProntoForms’ fully custom low-code app story really resonated in this space.
By capturing complex, prescribed work tasks with digital forms — like those from ProntoForms — rich data like photos, videos, and Part 11 compliant signatures gathered during service tasks ensures completeness of work and ultimately a transparent audit trail. ProntoForms’ easy-to-use form builder lets you quickly create, update, and deploy forms with detailed job steps that support changing compliance or regulatory requirements, without IT involvement.
The medical device industry is situated to escalate to unimaginable heights in the next few years. Ensuring you stay on top of growing trends both in field service as a whole and the specific issues facing the medical and life science industry is critical to remain competitive.
But if you didn’t attend Field Service Medical, don’t worry. If you’re looking for field service trends, check out our 2020 Service Leader’s Agenda webinar with Buddy Saucier, JCI’s VP of HVAC & Controls Service and John Carroll, CEO of Service Council. It’s an executive favorite.
And if you didn’t make it to our booth, don’t sweat. See how ProntoForms helps secure your processes and compliance with our Leveraging Advanced Security Features for Compliance webinar. Or, as always, book a demo and see how mobile digital forms can help you drive profitability and service excellence, and achieve compliance in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world.