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Good planning — especially during a pandemic — is key in mobile imaging projects

por John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | June 08, 2020
Mobile Imaging
A Siemens install by Kentucky Trailers in a mobile imaging unit.
From the May 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Introducing a mobile imaging unit can be a game changer for healthcare facilities. Whether the system is intended as a temporary replacement for an existing scanner, as a way to increase imaging throughput, or to bring new imaging capabilities to areas that previously could not access them—experts agree that when it comes to setting up a new site, attention to detail is critical.

HealthCare Business News spoke to some of the leading mobile imaging companies to find out what advice they had to simplify project planning.

“Build a generic site that can accommodate all OEMs and all modalities with future projects in mind,” advised Don Salyer, vice president of sales for Insight Imaging. “Do not cut corners; you wouldn’t do it on a fixed site room, so don’t do it on the foundation for mobile services.”

Salyer linked the importance of proper upfront planning to the back-end image quality, pointing out that the right solution will deliver on a customer’s performance expectations while providing safe and easy access to the mobile unit for patients and staff. Ensuring those basic capabilities are a first step toward meeting long-term revenue projections.

Matthew Hoover
According to Matthew Hoover, senior manager of market development for mobile healthcare at DMS Health Technologies (Digirad), both interim and permanent mobiles require good lead time and upfront preparation to head off any potential project wrinkles.

“The earlier a customer makes their ask for specific equipment, the better the chance we have of finding any exact unit,” said Hoover. “More often than not in a permanent replacement, we can find a match, but it depends on the make and age of the equipment that is being replaced. We want their users — the techs and radiologists — to be able to hop on and have as fast a learning curve on the new equipment as possible.”

The client also needs to be clear regarding the primary goal in a replacement project. That includes thinking about if their past use will be the same as their anticipated future use and, if not, what change in specifications are required, according to Hoover. Often, a healthcare provider will be replacing technology that’s one or two decades old, which means newer systems will provide opportunities on several fronts for improving patient care and the bottom line.

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