There appears to still be some revelation out there in the medical imaging community that “no one ever told me Microsoft had sunset Windows XP in 2014!” So, now what am I supposed to do in 2017 as it is no longer supported? Daa!

The official Microsoft notice went out in 2014 and, after a 12+ year run, the very popular XP operating system’s (OS) continuing support has come to end. What does that mean – no more security patches, updates and numerous web browsers have stopped supporting Microsoft XP. Sure, an extended “support” grace period was enabled by Microsoft to its users in the field but the message was crystal clear – migrate away from XP sooner rather than later!

Well, the later has now come quickly in 2017 as the “crush” is being felt by those who either procrastinated or just simply did not plan for the inevitable. The imaging department’s mission critical imaging equipment now sits out there like a “duck on the pond” awaiting that next unforeseen service event that will require a hardware and/or software replacement. That unfortunate service event will most likely require a solution comprised of hardware and software replacement equating into lots of un-budgeted dollars and significant equipment downtime affecting patient care delivery.

There is still time to head-off this OS support and obsolescence issue that you may be facing. First, verify the computer OS on all of your imaging equipment and its peripherals. Second, reach out to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of that equipment and inquire as to the field modifications or software/hardware upgrade paths they have available for migrating to the next recommended OS. It is possible, if the equipment is under an OEM service agreement with obsolescence protection, that the solution path is already enabled and just needs to be scheduled. If not, acquire a complete OS migration proposal specific to the imaging equipment in question from the OEM, but review them thoroughly and compare the proposed pricing with either your organization’s supply chain GPO partner or other imaging equipment consultative resources to best gauge the common price point in the market. Haste makes waste and in these types of 11th hour situations – be cautious to avoid a knee-jerk reaction by a salesperson leading you down a path doom and gloom. You could end up paying a lot more money than is reasonably necessary to resolve the issue!

 

Alan has been in the Clinical Engineering industry for 29+ years having served directly in the academic, governmental and community hospital settings. Alan’s career has spanned from imaging/ biomedical engineer to Director of Clinical Engineering. Alan currently serves today at the Vice President and Senior Advisor level with a leading medical equipment consultative and asset management firm.