Informe especial: Reboot de la radiografía

por Nancy Ryerson, Staff Writer | November 11, 2013
From the November 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“A couple of weeks ago, one of my retrofitted rooms went down on the X-ray side, and we had dropped a detector for one of the portables so that needed to be replaced,” says Mike Foley, director of radiology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass. “We were able to take a detector from the X-ray room and use it on the portable, so it wasn’t down for the weekend.”

Step 4: Don’t forget fluoro
Though fluoroscopy has a bit of a reputation for being an outdated modality, it has a few new uses up its sleeve that may convince buyers it should not be forgotten. In fact, the fluoroscopy market is expected to grow at a rate of 2.5 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to a report by Research and Markets. That being said, hospitals aren’t looking to break the bank when fluoroscopy equipment needs to be replaced.

Siemens launched the Luminos Agile two years ago, and the company is excited about new uses — and sources of revenue — for the technology, such as in fertility studies.

“In the procedure, they inject dye to show if there’s something blocking the fallopian tubes, or if the shape of the uterus is abnormal,” says Laurie Falk, clinical product manager at Siemens Healthcare. “Fluoro is also low dose and very fast. And for this procedure, patients may pay out-of-pocket, so it can help you capture more revenue.”

Fluoroscopy is also being used in speech studies for patients who have had strokes or tumors in the neck area that impact swallowing. “The speech therapist wants to look at the function at the back of the throat, so they watch as the patient is swallowing,” says Falk. “That way, they can tell if the patient can get off liquids or go to thicker consistencies, or finally go home.”

Step 5: Maintenance myths and questions
Though the workflow prospects are exciting, users sometimes have a few fears surrounding DR-upgraded rooms. For example, some facilities may shy away from wireless panels out of fear an employee with butter fingers will drop the plate, leaving it with a shattered screen, iPhone-style.

St. Mary’s Kliethermes says it generally costs $5,000 to $8,000 to insure a panel. “How many years would you have to not drop a panel to make up for that cost? That’s going to be a per facility decision,” he says.

Tufts Medical Center’s Foley, who had a panel break recently on a mobile unit, says the risk depends on how the detector is used. “I look at it separately. The detectors in the X-ray room might be safer because they don’t travel as much. In the portable environment, you’re up in the ICUs, putting these plates in bags, moving patients, so they drop every so often,” he says. But Foley also notes that the detectors are sturdy, not fragile like glass.

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