The biggest mistakes people make when buying an x-ray system

Jan 25, 2022 8:45:00 AM / by Jennifer Hutchison

When it comes to x-ray systems, there are a lot of things to consider. It's important to make sure you get the right system for your needs, and that you don't make any mistakes when buying it. In this blog post, we will discuss the biggest mistakes people make when buying x-ray systems. We'll also provide some tips on how to avoid these mistakes. So if you're in the market for an x-ray system, be sure to read this post!

The top 8 mistakes people make when buying an x-ray system:

1. Not planning for the future
2. Buying a used x-ray system
3. Buying outdated technology
4. Not working with a technology-driven company
5. Not backing up their data
6. Choosing the cheapest x-ray system
7. Not getting a warranty
8. Not asking for help when moving

1. Not planning for the future

One of the most common mistakes is not considering what the future needs are for a clinic. There's many things when you first start your practice that you might need versus maybe 3-5 years down the road.

For example, as a chiropractor you may be looking for an x-ray system that only does lumbar, cervical spine as well as thoracic. However, in the future you may be performing more x-rays on extremities. This could require a different x-ray system.
Similarly, if your patient volume increases you may need a different x-ray system. For example, you're in a new urgent care facility and you only expect to see a few patients a day. However, as your business grows, that might turn into seeing several hundred patients a day. In that case, you might be looking at a different x-ray tube, a different type of wall stand or table based on your future needs.

This is why it’s important you should always consider buying a system that's not only going to be able to support you today, but also going to be able to support you as your practice grows.

2. Buying a used x-ray system

We see a lot of people who experience buyer's remorse or regrets when they purchase a used x-ray system. Choosing to buy a used x-ray system can be very attractive from a pricing standpoint. However, we have found that many of our customers over the life of their x-ray system end up paying the same if not more as if they purchased a new x-ray system.

As an example, you might buy a brand new x-ray system for $40,000-50,000 which comes with a five year warranty. Alternatively, you could potentially get a used x-ray system in the $20,000-30,000 range. However, over time, you could end up spending money on servicing and maintaining that used x-ray system and it will have a shorter lifespan.

To maintain a used x-ray system you might have to upgrade the generator or upgrade the tube. Plus, the cost of service and support for x-ray equipment is very expensive, ranging anywhere between $200-300 an hour for a service company to come out. That’s on top of potentially having to upgrade to a new digital x-ray system. You might have to end up spending even more money than if you had chosen to purchase a new x-ray system in the beginning.

3. Buying outdated technology

Another thing a lot of people do, and it’s in the same vein as buying used x-ray systems, is buying outdated technology. For example, in the DR market there is CCD technology, gadolinium, cesium and CR technologies. All of these are different ways that you can have digital images.

However, CR technology is a very old system for taking digital x-rays. CCD is somewhat newer but is still considered old technology. Then there is GadOx and cesium which are both flat panel DR technologies that are relatively new. However, we would recommend staying away from anything other than cesium technology. This recommendation applies when buying x-ray machines and many other components too. Always do your research, find out what is the newest technology and choose that.

4. Purchasing from a company that is not technology-driven

Another thing that we hear a lot from customers is when they purchase an X-ray system where they purchase a DR panel from a company that is not a technology-driven company. The x-ray dealer market has worked over a number of years with many dealers starting to sell digital x-ray only because they had been servicing analog customers for many years. They might have been doing film and chemical processing, and selling film. Again, these are all services that were utilized with an analog system.

Those analog companies then moved on and started selling digital x-ray systems. However, much of their infrastructure and many of their people are used to doing analog services support. It's a very different skill set than technicians coming in and doing digital support.
Digital support is a lot more technology-driven; using servers, remote support, and a number of things that come with a different skill set.

Many of these originally analogue trained people have tried to adapt, and some of them have done quite well in adapting to changing technology. However, we always recommend choosing to work with someone that has a very strong technical support team. Over the life of your x-ray system you will find it to be extremely helpful.

5. Not backing up their data

One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is not backing up their actual digital x-ray system. In the past, you had films that you would have to store, and keep in a secure place. Nowadays, we see instances where computers go bad. For example, customers may have a hard drive that fails. If your data is not backed up you may lose the data and your patients’ x-rays. Not only is it a major inconvenience for you and your customers, it’s also a HIPAA violation.

To avoid this, we always recommend backing up your data! Whether it be backing up to an external hard drive, a cloud-based system, or we even have a cloud based PAC system which allows you to store, view, and share patient x-rays.

Check out some of our blog posts that go into more detail about your different options to back up your data.

6. Choosing the cheapest x-ray system

A lot of customers tend to want to go with the cheapest x-ray system out there. However, going with the cheapest system isn't always the best option. You're usually going to end up sacrificing some aspect, whether it be the product quality, the service or support. or even how trustworthy the company is. This can translate to how reliable they are, and what type of reputation they have.

You can make sure that you get an x-ray system that's going to have the best technology by ensuring it comes from a reputable company. Choose a company that has the service support that's going to ensure that your x-ray system is always up and running.

We have found that it's very difficult to have the cheapest technology, or the cheapest option, and have the best technology, or the best service and the best support. So make sure when you're researching companies that you do your due diligence, and make sure you don’t just lead with price. In many cases, if you do choose the cheapest option, you'll end up paying for it later down the road with either service and support costs, or a product that fails you in the future.

7. Not getting a warranty

A lot of customers don't get x-ray systems that come with either a basic warranty (which in many cases is between 1-5 years -depending on the system), or they don't get the extended warranty options. This leads to many customers having buyer's remorse a few years down the road when they realize that the system they bought is no longer under warranty. In many cases the x-ray system can no longer be serviced.
Whereas if they had done a little bit more research, they could have chosen to work with a company or provider that does offer warranties after the initial warranty period, which helps to maintain the longer lifespan for your x-ray system.

8. Not asking for help when moving

Often people make the mistake of not reaching out to an equipment provider prior to signing a new lease or moving into a new building. X-ray systems have a lot of spatial and technical requirements. If you’re signing a long term lease, you want to make sure that the building that you're in is going to be able to provide you with all the necessary requirements. Otherwise, it can cost you a lot of money and even potentially make it so that you can't even have x-rays within that clinic.

For example, you need an office that has at least 100 amps of dedicated power coming into it for the x-ray. There are some alternatives like stored energy generators, which will allow you to minimize the amount of amperage coming in. However, you really want to be able to have that dedicated line if possible.

What we found is that some people, if they do not look into the electrical first, might find that the cost of bringing in electricity could range from $5,000-10,000 all the way up to $20,000. So it's always good to make sure you're looking at that same thing with the room layout.

One of the things with building an x-ray room is you have to lead line the walls. In some instances, you can minimize the amount of lead depending on how the building is orientated. For example, where you're shooting the x-rays, as well as whether the x-ray room is on the first floor or second floor.

You really don't want to be in a position where you are in a high rise, where you have to lead line the floor as well as the ceiling and all the surrounding walls. So it's best to find an office that is more catered to the requirements of x-ray systems.

At Maven Imaging, as an equipment vendor, we can provide you with this and guide you onto the right path.

In conclusion

When it comes to x-ray systems, there are a lot of things you need to take into account before making your purchase. Not planning for the future, buying an outdated system, not working with a technology-driven company, and not getting a warranty are some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying x-ray systems. Make sure you avoid these mistakes by doing your research and partnering with a reputable provider like Maven Imaging.

If you are in the market for an x-ray system, make sure you reach out to us at Maven Imaging. We can help you find the perfect x-ray system for your needs. We also offer warranties, service, and support after the purchase of your x-ray system.

Tags: Digital X-ray System

Jennifer Hutchison

Written by Jennifer Hutchison

My goal is to provide my customers with the best equipment possible, at the best price possible, in order to see their business grow and thrive. I currently work hand in hand with doctors of Chiropractic all over the nation to put together custom equipment packages that meet their special needs. Each doctor has their own speciality technique, and by working directly with many of the groups such as NUCCA, Gonstead, CBP, Everest, Blair, KCUCS, and many other groups, I have built the knowledge and expertise to create custom x-ray equipment packages for their specific needs. Seeing my customers using the equipment I sold them in order to heal and help people all over the nation is the true happiness I get from my career. - 9 Years experience in medical device and equipment sales -12 Years experience in Medical Imaging Field - Sales expert for x-ray and digital x-ray equipment nationwide - Work with over 25 different manufacturers and vendors - Strong accounting, finance, and account management background - Upper Cervical X-Ray Sales Specialist