posted on Friday, March 26, 2010 - 04:59 pm
First a declaration of interest I work for Avnet who represent the EIZO brand of displays.
I have a question - will you endorse a fair and open hardware procurement policy for your PACS displays and associated graphic boards.
We, and I suspect other suppliers have made approaches to your existing LSP and PACS contracted providers who have flatly refused to entertain anything other than their existing vendor on the basis that their customers are happy and are not demanding choice so there is no need to change.
We fully believe in choice and prefer customers choose based on the relative merits of the product versus their own requirements.
This also provides a competitive environment which is in all our interests.
The statement from one PACS supplier was that they have had no negative feedback from any customer and therefore with no request from customers or their LSP they are not prepared to offer alternatives.
I wondered how you felt about this and if you would prefer to keep it the way it is or if like us you prefer to be able to purchase from more than one brand.
Introducing competition could mean you buy from your existing vendor but at a lower price than today, indeed we have seen this before in other markets.
You maybe able to offer LSPs/PACS suppliers a better/cheaper price for monitors. However, with the existing contracts we the NHS users are unlikely to see any benefit. The reason is the catalogue prices for hardware items have either remained static or increased from what I hear. Although the cost of computer hardware has reduced in the open market,this has not been passed on to us. We all are aware of the contracts drawn up by CFH on behalf of NHS does not provide VFM and does not support open competition.
2013 offers some hope of open market. The enlightened PACS community will be looking for a "soft-ware only solution for PACS". I do not see any reason why Trusts should not be able to buy their 3MP/5MP workstations in the open competitive market. PACS providers like Fujifilm (I think Agfa Impax 6 is also sold as software only solution outside the LSP!!!) etc will certainly have advantage over those PACS providers who insist on making money from a mark-up on the workstation hardware.
I do not know what can be done today but I remain hopeful for the future.
First also a declaration of interest I work for NEC who represent the NEC brand of displays.
I attended the last BIR meeting where you openly discussed the fact that as a collective body you have the ability to influence or enforce change. As Rob rightly points out, without any negative feedback from the PACS community regarding the current vendors and supply channel nothing will change.
The majority of PACS providers (when operating outside of the LSP contract) have validated the main diagnostic display vendors and can offer any of the three main brands depending on what the customer (you) wish to purchase.
Choice is available, choice is available from the PACS providers, collective feedback is what is needed to drive change, and as a tax payer I also demand it.
I couldn't agree more with the idea of a software only solution. While I = don't think this will happen within LSP, there are signs that a degree of= flexibility is creeping in. We, in London, have just been able to buy so= me workstations from the catalogue but specify things like RAM, processor= s and monitors. Our LSP provider has been very supportive.=20