Due to the 7% reimbursement cuts to CR-processed scans beginning in 2018 (via The Consolidated Appropriations Act), the next 13 months are "crunch time" in making the decision of whether or not to upgrade from CR to DR.
At this point, the benefits of upgrading to direct-to-digital scanning are widely understood, making the decision, primarily, a budgetary one. To help ease that decision and clarify what exactly is being paid for with that total upgrade price, we've compiled the following points to share what may be needed and included along with a detector purchase for a seamless integration into your facility's equipment stable.
This additional equipment offers the ability to save and store images on a large scale. If a PACS network is already in play at your facility, this might be unnecessary, bringing you an up-front savings. If you don't have PACS equipment, however, and serve a relatively moderate volume of patients, a mini-PACS could offer significant savings over the cost of a full PACS setup for storage, bringing in ongoing savings.
In order for your images to be viewed on the network throughout your facility, you'll need to have viewing software that is compatible with your new panel installed on the pertinent workstations. This software, and the number of viewing licenses you purchase to use it, are another part of your total package.
Acquisition Software Training
Thorough software training is important from a quality imaging and workflow perspective. This training helps to ensure your team is using your panel as efficiently and effectively as possible. If your team has already been scanning with CR, the learning curve on this is much lower, but training is still necessary to reveal some of the particulars of the new equipment.
NOTE: DR panel software training is not to be confused with, and does not replace X-ray applications training, which focuses on clinical technique and patient positioning.
While dropping your shiny new detector isn’t particularly fun to think about, it’s important to acknowledge the risk and, whether you purchase or decline this coverage, plan accordingly.
Most detector panels (every panel from Block Imaging) come with a manufacturer warranty. Depending on the make, the period of the warranty coverage, and therefore the overall price, may vary. Some coverage can also be extended. For example: every panel from Block includes a 3-year warranty term. A 2-year extension can be purchased with the first year of the extension paid up-front, and the second deferred for monthly billing after the first four years have elapsed.
Who will handle warranty issues, and how? Warranty options are generally available through a panel's manufacturer. Service support may also come from the manufacturer, but is sometimes handled by the provider that you purchased your panel from. It's worth noting that service support for a DR panel rarely requires an on-site visit, as most panel or software-related problems can be solved remotely.
When you upgrade your facility from CR readers to DR panels, you have options to purchase quite a bit more than just a panel; namely- a smooth transition, expanded storage and transmission capability, and no-fuss support. Exactly what you end up with will depend on your individual needs and circumstances, but building awareness of the options is the first step in finding the package that's the best fit for you.
If you have other questions about upgrading from CR to DR, our team is ready and able to serve. Contact us to discuss your project, obtain a price quote, or even receive an on-site demonstration of the DR panel kits we provide.