As with all imaging equipment, your MRI will eventually need to be upgraded or replaced to keep pace with new healthcare demands. If you've been in the field for a while, you're probably well aware of this and may have even been at your facility when the current MRI scanner was installed. If so, you're probably also well aware of the potential need for some extensive renovations.
Undergoing renovations is never fun, but not being able to serve patients or generate revenue is even less fun. So, what's done during construction? Go mobile!
Preparing for a Mobile MRI
Renting a mobile MRI is the best way to maintain patient volume and continue to generate revenue during an MRI suite renovation project. Here are some things you should consider and plan for as you begin exploring the possibility of an interim rental. We submit for your consideration, "The Four P's":
You’ll want to make sure you have the proper outside power connections prior to delivery of your mobile system. Russellstoll adapters are the most common connections for mobile trailers. If you do not have a connection installed, contact your local electrician for more information on getting one. The receptacle you end up with needs to produce 480v 3-phase power.
Your IT team will also need to install an exterior network connection beside the power connection. This will allow the system in the trailer to connect to your network and send images to your PACS system.
Where will you put your mobile MRI? Typically, you’ll want to have a concrete “pad” where the MRI can be safely parked. Unlike asphalt, concrete does not soften in the summer heat and will have the strength and durability to support the trailer stands without leaving hazardous indentations. If there simply isn't any concrete space available, the feet of the stands can rest on metal plates to distribute the weight and reduce the likelihood of damage. Make sure to confirm with your rental provider about including plates if your only option is to park your rental on an asphalt pad.
Do you have adequate space to park the mobile trailer exactly where you need it? Remember that while the trailer may only be 48’ long, a semi tractor is required to move and park the system, bringing the total length you will need closer to around 60’. Trailers are typically 8’–10’ in width. Be conscious of turning radius and space requirements for basic maneuvering.
It's also wise to measure for clearance around landscaping, power lines, and other structures. It's especially important to have clearance around anything that emits large amounts of electricity, as this can interfere with the magnet.
If possible, rent a system that your techs are familiar with or one that is similar to your existing MRI. It's best to avoid combining the upheaval of renovations with a steep equipment learning curve. If a similar system is not available or not your final selection, talk with your provider about the availability of applications trainers who can help with setting protocols and familiarizing the techs with the new equipment.
While there are a few more nuances to renting a mobile MRI than many folks expect, rental is still the best way to continue serving and earning over the course of a remodel/replace project. Not only that, but mobile providers like Block Imaging often have project managers who can walk through the preparation checklist with you to ensure all needs and contingencies are covered,
Hopefully, these tips help as you plan the logistical side of your mobile MRI rental. If you’re wondering how much an MRI rental costs, click here to get a ballpark estimate. If you have other questions, just contact us and we will be happy to help.
Written by Josh Block
Josh Block is the President of Block Imaging. He is also a husband, father of two, triathlete and self-proclaimed waffle chef. Josh strives to live out his passion for people by investing in and aligning the Block Imaging team to deliver a noteworthy customer experience and impact lives around the world through providing outstanding refurbished equipment, service and parts.