If you're considering purchasing medical imaging equipment service, it's imperative that you know preparation is everything. When imaging facilities are under-prepared, stuff happens; bad stuff that is out of your service provider's hands and out of your service agreement's purview.
Below are three examples of common environmental issues rising from poor site preparation. And, because we hate to see our imaging equipment customers encounter system setbacks, we've thrown in some suggestions on what you can do in advance to avoid them.
Overheating is a danger to all types of imaging equipment and can cause serious, irreversible damage to some components. In terms of coverage, if you own, for example, a CT and the cause of your overheating is a faulty x-ray tube heat exchanger, a full service agreement will cover the diagnosis, repairs, and the cost of the replacement part. However, if your system overheated because your building's air conditioner failed, you're likely to pay for the repairs and parts on both the AC and your CT.
Prevention Suggestion: Make sure you book regular preventative maintenance for your HVAC system. If your HVAC system does fail, avoid running your imaging equipment until the HVAC failure is resolved.
Would musical super-group, Starship (We built this city!) consider building anything without first laying the appropriate foundation of rock n' roll? No way! And neither should you... figuratively speaking.
Shaking and jarring of imaging equipment can cause artifacts to appear in diagnostic images. If your site is anywhere near an area of seismic activity, this could be a problem for you. Without proper preparation, the removal of artifacts caused by tremors or quakes could become a cost billable to you.
Prevention Suggestion: Before your system installs, consult with your dealer, contractor, and facilities manager on the need for adding a seismic kit to your purchase to brace your equipment and hold it in place.
Imagine listening to music recorded out of a rotating speaker (like the guitar solo in The Beatles' "Let It Be"):you'd still be able to hear it the whole time, but picking out individual notes would become more difficult. What you're hearing in the solo is irregularities in the sound wave of the guitar as established in the rest of the song. Dirty power is similar in its distortion of the norm. Dirty power is a term used to describe irregularities in the electrical current being supplied to a given location. Spikes, dips, and even split-second stoppages of current often won't be enough to shut a system down or cause it to send an error code, but they can affect the clarity of images or cause artifacts and distortion.
Because your system's power supply is a facilities issue, correcting image problems that result from it are your facility's responsibility.
Prevention Suggestion: Have your power tested in advance of your imaging equipment install. If you have dirty power, consult with your electrical contractor about purchasing a power conditioner to regulate your current.
Given the sensitivity of medical imaging equipment, there are a whole lot of things that can damage it, reduce its lifespan, and degrade the quality of its images. These are exactly the kinds of things that service agreements are designed to protect against. Unfortunately, service coverage generally draws the line at problems caused by ineffective facility planning.
Before your system is installed, before you sign your service agreement, be sure you consult with the applicable professionals to have your facility system-ready from day one.