Now in its 11th year, the Medical Imaging Readers’ Choice Awards tell an interesting story. We ask you, our readers, to vote on the top medical-imaging vendors, basing your choices on price, service, quality, training, and integration. These are serious criteria. Without excellent manufacturing standards that are held to such a high bar by the FDA, and without the financial commitment to R&D, none of the contestant companies would be in the competition if they didn’t score high marks in all five categories. But with so many vendors producing the same types of products, what is it that sets one apart from the other? Price is certainly a factor, as is performance. However, very often, the distinguishing factor is customer service. On her ballot, one reader from Parker, Colo, commented, “These are companies who go the extra mile to work out solutions to problems, although we seldom have problems with their hardware and software.” She really has touched on the very essence of customer service: quick responsiveness with a “we care” attitude.

In a market that is extremely competitive, companies must set themselves apart in an outstanding way. And it isn’t just the vendors that need to exhibit excellent customer service; it’s everyone else, too. From radiologists and technologists to hospitals and freestanding imaging centers, we all must keep our attention focused on helping our customers, whether they are patients, referring physicians, or, in my case, readers.

Here at Medical Imaging, amid the pressing deadlines, hectic schedule, and constant influx of information, we strive to provide the best service that we can for our customers, our readers. That comes in two forms. First, as the industry’s top technology book, we spend much of our time looking for new advances in imaging. We focus not just on showcasing the wealth of products that emerge and are cleared by the FDA every month; we also concentrate on explaining the relevance of these new products and technological advances to patient care.

The second form of customer service is assisting our readers. For example, just last week, I connected one reader with FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA, Stamford, Conn, because she had a few serious questions about image quality on the company’s newly FDA-cleared CR for mammography. So, whether it’s aiding our readers with their subscriptions to the magazine, helping our Web site visitors find articles in our online archives (or any other information available online), or providing a “big picture” view of the industry for an imaging newbie on the phone, I’m always happy to help. Am I tooting my own horn here? Maybe a little, but it’s these little extras that go a long way.

Speaking of little extras, I want to thank everyone who participated in our Readers’ Choice Awards—we couldn’t do them without you. To show our thanks, we held a random drawing and selected three lucky voters to receive a $100 gift certificate to Congratulations to:

  • Alan Ashley of Ontonagon Memorial Hospital, Ontonagon, Mich;
  • James Hurley of University Medical Center, Tucson, Ariz; and
  • Cherie James of Wichita Falls, Tex.

For all of the details about the Readers’ Choice winners, don’t miss “Spotlighting the Industry’s Brightest.” And now, on to 2007 and another exciting year in the medical-imaging field. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Andi Lucas, editor