5 essential tips for clinics when buying a system
4 min read
Buying any piece of “heavy” medical imaging equipment can be a daunting experience. In CT and MRI there are many different systems to choose from. Choosing what system to get depends on a lot of factors. The price is without question one, but not the only. In truth, looking only on the price will almost certainly lead you to disaster.
There is no such thing as one single perfect-for-all-solution. Finding the right system depends on a lot of factors. Do your very best to find a solution that fits your needs and budget.
What can you do then to narrow the field and make the decision easier? You need to know what you want, what you need and why. Below is a shortlist of 5 points that will help you in your search.
Keep an Eye Open
The first of the essential tips for clinics is to have a look around you. What system do your nearest competitors use? This is important. Not because you want to go out and get the same medical imaging equipment as they have, but because you don’t want to bring a knife to a gunfight.
What you want to do is to use their choice for inspiration. Knowing what your competitors use is a good indicator for you to find a system with similar or better capabilities. Having the best scanner in town is also a way to attract insurance companies etc.
Perhaps you find zero competition? If so you should consider if perhaps you, in fact, need all bells and whistles. Perhaps a lower-priced unit can do the same for less.
The second of the essential tips for clinics is to spend some time figuring out exactly how many patients you have and are going to have. Really dig into it and find out how many patients that are realistic. The number of patients sets the bar for how much you can invest.
Not only does this number have an obvious and massive financial impact on your clinic. It is also of significant importance when you consider what kind of system to buy.
Some systems are designed to handle a high patient flow, while others are designed for less patient flow. No need to pay more for a system that can handle more patients that you expect to have. This is essentially a “make it or break it” balance. FlexRay Medical is happy to guide you through the jungle of different system and tube configurations.
Used Scanner or Used Car
Buying a pre-owned system is a bit like buying a used car. In the sense that, if you are too specific on what you want,i.e. model, applications and more. Then you could end up waiting years for the perfect system – or perhaps never getting a system at all. Can you afford that?
No matter what used system you are looking for, you can only get what is available on the market. As a rule of thumb, you should figure out what the ideal solution for you is on one hand and what you can accept on the other. Often you get a good system capable of doing 90% of what you wished for and this is normally plenty for you to have a healthy clinic.
Remember Third-Party Service
No matter how great a system you get and how great the price is you should NEVER buy a system, which cannot be supported by local, third-party service. In reality, this often means buying a system manufactured by one of the big 5 Original Equipment Manufacturers. This might come at a higher initial cost. But, having local, third-party service will save you money in the long term.
You also have to make sure the system and model you get is not locked by a service key. Getting such a model is becoming more difficult, but they are still around. At least make sure your servicer confirms that they can arrange for such a service key. Remember to learn at what price before you buy because this does not come cheap.
Go With the Flow
Finally, it is all about the flow of the clinic. The physical flow of your patients in your clinic is very important when you buy a system. The layout of a clinic can assist in getting more patients through the clinic daily. It can also do the opposite. I’ve seen clinics, which after careful planning of the patient flow, increased the flow by more than 40%. That’s as good as money in the bank – and often it requires close to zero investment.
One final thing
Each of these 5 essential tips for clinics could be elaborated on for page after page. But that is not the point with this post. Still, I hope you got a sense of what to consider before proceeding with any diagnostic investment.
No matter what we are always ready to answer your questions and to guide you in the right direction. Give a call or send an email and we’ll find a great solution for you.
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