Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current x-ray setup or you’re looking to purchase a brand new system and this is your first time doing so, there are many major considerations to take into account. Here we will address the main steps we typically take when thinking about an x-ray system purchase.
- Address your requirements
- Consider the future
- Stationary or Portable
- Choosing a Vendor
This article will help you break down the large purchase that you are considering into smaller, more manageable steps so that you can feel more confident about the decision and have a better idea of what to expect when each one is completed.
1. Address your main x-ray requirements
X-rays are a necessary tool in the medical field. They are used to diagnose and treat many different ailments. X-rays can be taken in various different environments. Your practice will determine the specialty of the system and how it is used. It is important to note that there are limitations as to what can be seen by an x-ray machine, so we have to ensure we have picked the appropriate system for you.
Urgent Care environments will typically deal with extremity bone breaks, trauma and breathing issues, soft tissue problems dealing with different organs like bowel, stomach, esophagus, etc. Because of these focuses, you should cater the type of machine you do purchase with your typical exposure needs.
Chiropractic offices will take 90% spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar). This means these users will want to purchase a system that caters more to those specific needs. Further, if you focus on larger patients, this will also require more a more powerful system.
Podiatric offices take load bearing exposures mostly. Due to this, they will require a DR panel that can withstand the weight of a human being, who is the same size as the standard patient in this practice. This will require a different system than either of the above listed systems.
2. Consider How Your Needs Could Change in The Future
It is important to take into consideration how your practice could change over the next coming years. Do you plan to expand your practice specializations? If you do, you must choose a machine that you can grow into. While working with your Maven Imaging sales rep, you will be addressing these considerations. While shopping around, this is an important note.
3. Decide Whether You Need Portable or Stationary Unit
You must consider first whether you would like a stationary unit or a portable unit. This will help in determining how much space you’ll need in the room you’ll be setting up as your x-ray room.
There are also different state requirements that you must adhere to in different case uses. For instance, if you plan to use a portable x-ray unit in different parts of the office/center, the state may require you to move a certain distance from other rooms or patients in the office to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Stationary systems have larger capacity for x-ray power, these will be utilized in cases where you may work with larger patients, possibly incapacitated patients, maybe you plan to focus on thoracic scans mostly, or lateral views. All of this can be done most efficiently with a stationary unit.
Portable units are lower power and can take less exposures in quick succession, but are great to be able to wheel into different rooms where patients may be without having to move said patient. These are great when dealing with trauma in an urgent care scenario. You can just have the x-ray technician cart in the machine and take the exposures, then view the exposures from the laptop that comes with the unit or from a different evaluation office you may have set up.
Handheld models are fantastic in situations where you’re dealing with smaller extremities like hands, feet in some cases. Even dentistry practices many times will use handheld models. You have the added bonus of being able to take the unit anywhere with ease.
4. Consider Your Budget and Select a Machine That Fits Your Needs
When talking about the budget portion of the purchase of an x-ray system, we have a few things to take into account. There are different requirements for different types of systems. We will cover those here.
Stationary systems will have larger budgets number one because of the equipment itself. But also due to the fact that you have to build out a state law compliant room to ensure exposure levels are the lowest possible for the surrounding area. There are several factors to also consider on these: Electrical, Lead Lined Walls, Technician Barrier with a Window, Protective Peripherals, Manipulatable Beds, etc.
Portable systems require less in the way of renovation costs as they will travel from room to room or even from building to building and rarely will be used in the same space. You still must consider the cost of peripherals: DR Panel Bucky/Protector, Mobile Cassette Cart, Batteries for the Wireless DR Panel, etc.
Handheld systems will require different budgets as well. A good expectation to set for these set-ups is to look at many of the peripherals that go well with a portable system: DR Panel Cover/Protector, Lead Protection Equipment (Wearable), Batteries for the Wireless DR Panel, etc.
5. Evaluate the Types of Vendors and Manufacturers That Will Offer You the Best Package Deal
Whichever vendor you choose to go with, many vendors do provide package deals. This will save a considerable amount in comparison to purchasing a la carte. Here at Maven, we offer many package deals, many cater to the different types of practices we see the most need for. We offer several different packages for each type of system, a lot of them come with the must-have peripherals too.
24/7 Support: Our internal support staff is here to address any of your technical issues that may arise with any of our systems
Ongoing Service: We offer ongoing maintenance services as well to upkeep the performance and extend the life cycle of our systems
In summary, we would love to help you through your plan to purchase a new or used system. We have experienced specialists here that have been in the industry for many years and have experienced many of the potential pit-falls one can find themselves in.
Give us a call, we would love to help you take a look at all the different systems we have to offer.