If you've cruised the C-arm market, compared prices, and finally settled on the best C-arm model for your needs, congratulations! Your C-arm order is underway and soon to be delivered to your site. In the meantime, however, there are several things that you'll need to think about to prepare for and coordinate your system's delivery and installation.
Because we work with C-arm buyers every day, we thought it might be helpful to share what, in our experience, are questions that will need to be addressed before your C-arm (and the truck that will come with it) are on your doorstep. Keep reading so that you can know how to prevent delays and get your C-arm scanning as soon as possible after delivery.
Because your C-arm is a radiation-emitting device, it is subject to certain governmental rules. These rules vary from state to state, but there is at least some form of radiation regulation in place in all of them. Before your C-arm arrives, be sure to take all three of the following steps:
Contact your state department of health to find out what their particular laws are.
If required by your state, arrange for a contractor to install lead shielding.
Schedule a certified physicist to inspect and approve your system shortly after it installs. Your state department of health will be able to provide you with a list of physicists.
Your C-arm provider may be able to point you in the right direction on these items, but ultimately these compliance-related issues are your facility's responsibility.
Path of Entry
The route your C-arm will take through your building will depend on your facility layout, location, and your time frame for equipment delivery. Do you have a loading dock, or will the C-Aam be coming in through a ground level door? Are there steps to navigate? Does your facility have room for a full sized semi-trailer, or will a smaller box truck be necessary? Ideally, all aspects of the system's path of entry should be discussed with your C-arm provider before shipment.
It is also important to make sure that all doors and elevators that the C-Arm will be traveling through will be large enough and sufficient prior to its arrival. For quick reference to the dimensions of the most popular C-arm models, click here to see our comparison chart: C-Arm Size Comparison Guide
Networking and Image Storage
Another matter to consider before your C-arm arrives is image transfer and storage. If your incoming C-arm is equipped with onboard DICOM, it will be capable of performing its own image transfer. If it is not, you will need to talk to your C-arm provider about adding an accessory like a DICOM box or a MediCapture to take care of this.
Once your method of image transfer is selected, you'll need to address long-term storage. If your facility already has a PACS network, then all you should need is some basic networking information from whichever member of your team handles IT for the facility. If your C-arm provider handles networking like we do, a dedicated project manager will assist you and your IT team with which information will be necessary to successfully connect to PACS.
If you do not already have a PACS network, chances are your facility's needs could be met by the addition of a mini PACS system. Mini PACS is very much like standard PACS except that the server will be off-site as opposed to in a dedicated server room somewhere inside your building. If this is something you need, your provider should be able to help you find one.
Choosing and purchasing the best C-arm for your facility are big steps, but they certainly aren't the last steps. Make sure you prepare for your C-arm's arrival with proper regulatory compliance, a clear path for delivery, and all the accessories you need to get your images where they need to be. Whichever provider you choose, talk with them about each of these concerns so that you can minimize the possibility of delays in your project.
If you have a C-arm project in progress and need some guidance with any of these, we're happy to assist. Use the button below to tell us a bit about it and what we can do to help.