por John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | August 24, 2020
From the August 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
“We try to maneuver it through the same route it came in,” said Bob Iravani, president of Chicago Medical Exchange. “For instance, there are circumstances where the old system was put in with a crane. We therefore have to use the same method to install the new system.”
Once measurements are written down, the service provider draws up a blueprint for how to transport the system through the hospital and shares it with the client to ensure all weights and capacities have been accounted.
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The client must then prep the site of construction, by cleaning the room and hallways, removing objects from the room, and helping the service provider acquire the right troughs, cabling, conduits and power. The right dollies with the right wheels are also needed to avoid scuffing floors during transport. For heavy weights, it is often wise to put Masonite down, says Don Tiedemann, CEO of Optimum Medical Imaging Incorporated.
“Follow any type of infection control that they choose to use to seal up any doorways to make sure construction doesn't interfere with any other patients or staff,” he added.
Polo recently encountered a situation in which a wall needed to be knocked down to remove an MR magnet so the magnet could be rigged outside a second story window. The project came to a halt when it was discovered that the wall in question contained a number of gas lines and air lines.
“For them to take out that wall would cost them $100,000,” said Polo. “A job that should have been easier is now 10 times harder because we have to cut the machine out piece by piece. A three-day job turns into a five-day job with a lot more work.”
A lack of careful planning not only delays construction, but can create risks to individuals involved in the work if not relayed to them. It can also raise costs and ultimately delay patient exams and consequently create more lost revenue for the facility.
“If a customer wants to get something done in a very short amount of time, it’s not that it’s impossible. It’s just that everything needs to line up perfectly,” said Empie. “If we don’t have a project coordination meeting with the customer and contractors to review the final drawing of where electrical panels are being placed, how cables need to be run, and what else must be done, that can cause delays. We want to work as a team with the contractors to ensure a timely delivery.”
Tiedemann says that one common issue he sees is when a person realizes the morning of a deinstallation job that the system being removed still has private information saved on the hard drives. “A lot of times when we’re scheduled to pull these things out, someone will say we have to get IT down here because we need to get patient data off and that could violate HIPAA if we don’t,” he said.