Q. Are there instances when OSI cannot repair a machine and Varian is called to assist? If so, please elaborate.
A. Yes. On those rare occasions where our FSE team is unable to solve an issue, we will engage Varian at our cost to assist. They are another tool in our tool kit. Across our entire customer base, more than 200+ machines, Varian is called maybe once/year total.
Q. If STB’s come out from Varian on the linac/Software who is responsible for this?
A. Varian is responsible for all updates to the systems. Mandatory safety updates (STB’s) will be supplied and installed free-of-charge by Varian. Other updates may require purchasing directly from Varian. Updates either correct a safely issue, fix bugs and/or introduced errors in the sw system. Upgrades usually add to existing, already purchased functionality and are discretionary. New sw versions add new functionality to increase use of the system.
Optional STB’s will be performed by OSI as needed
• Example: Modification to accommodate obsolete part replacement such as the Console power supply.
Mandatory STB’s will be performed by Varian
• Example: Beam Symmetry Interlock Upgrade
Q. Who is responsible for maintaining current software versions on linac and tx console?
A. Varian is responsible for any mandatory software updates to the linac console software. Currently Varian is updating console software to v9.5 if the present version is v7.0 or greater, this adds collision avoidance for OBI.
Mandatory software updates to Aria, 4d and treatment planning computers are updates that Varian will perform.
Outside of mandatory safety updates, Linac console computer updates only occur if the machine is being upgraded to MLC or OBI. 4D Integrated Treatment Console software upgrades will need to be purchased from Varian.
Q. My current contract bundles software and equipment service. How difficult is it to have Varian unbundle and handle software while OSI does the equipment?
A. It is very common for facilities to unbundle the Varian software contract in order to gain the substantial savings from service alternatives to the OEM.
Q. Varian’s Smart Connect seems to improve the ability to fix problems remotely. How does OSI handle?
A. SmartConnect helps primarily on Varian software troubleshooting with Aria. On thoses occasions where SmartConnect might help remotely troubleshoot a machine issue covered by OSI, OSI will pay for SmartConnect access. This has occurred only twice in the past year despite more than 200 machines being serviced.
Q. Can you work on Calypso?
A. While OSI does have Calypso trained engineers, our customers generally call Varian on those rare occasions where Calypso needs service. Our contract quote does not currently include Calypso.
Q. Am I sacrificing quality by purchasing a refurbished device instead of new?
A. Absolutely not. OSI Precision Certified equipment undergoes a comprehensive refurbishment or process in which every major component of the device is tested and replaced as necessary. Additionally, each Precision Certified device is tested before it leaves our hands to ensure that it performs to the OEM's factory specifications. And in the unlikely event that you do have an issue with your equipment, a member of our dedicated, skilled service team will be at your facility in a matter of hours. Simply put, the only thing you’re sacrificing is price.
Q. I’m looking for a state-of-the-art solution. Does that mean I have to buy new?
A. No. OSI Precision Certified devices offer leading-edge solutions from the best names in the industry – including Varian, Elekta and Siemens. Plus, Precision Certified equipment can be outfitted with the latest software and updates to ensure that you have the best available solution to treat your patients.
Q. What qualifies your team to service my devices?
A. In short – training, experience and dedication. Most of our field service engineers are OEM-factory trained, making them specialists in everything there is to know about your specific equipment. They have years of industry experience and are skilled at ensuring that your practice maintains maximum uptime – meaning better care for your patients and fewer headaches for you. On top of that, our people simply care more. They have a dedication to the oncology industry and have made a personal choice to work at a company that cares as much as they do.
Q. Our practice is located outside of the US, can OSI provide a linear accelerator for our practice?
A. Yes — OSI is truly an international organization. We serve six continents through our wholly owned subsidiary in Mexico, a joint venture in the People's Republic of China and a number of strategic partnerships in Asia, South America and Europe. OSI devices are operating in more than 30 countries, and we are one of the largest independent parts suppliers in the world.
Q. I’ve seen other companies besides you guys that claim to be the largest supplier of parts and solutions. Who’s telling the truth?
A. While many other companies in the industry may talk a big game about the number of parts they offer — there’s a catch. While they can “offer” many pieces of equipment, they simply have access to them, not actual in-stock solutions. This means that they are not always able to follow through on solutions and may attempt last-minute switches and cancellations. Inversely, at Oncology Services International, we have all of our parts (more than 67,000!) and solutions in stock – so you get what we promise you when you need it.
Have more questions? We’d be glad to speak with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have.