As you work with a provider to arrange your mobile CT rental, site readiness should (hopefully) be a significant part of your conversation. Getting a mobile system up and running on your grounds isn't a "plug-and-play" kind of proposition. There are a handful of things that need to be in place to accommodate the equipment that will be delivered to your doorstep.
If your provider hasn't answered all your questions about what a mobile-ready site looks like, we're here to clear things up with a short list of requirements. Take a look at the steps below to make sure you have the proper position, personnel, power, and more for a successful mobile CT hook up.
Surface and Space
The surface that you intend to park the trailer on needs to be as flat as possible and solid enough to support the trailer's weight so that it can be leveled. A CT trailer can even experience some sinking on a surface as solid as asphalt (see pic at right), especially during the heat of the summer months. Concrete is your best bet, but if that isn't possible, you can rest the the feet of the trailer on metal plates to distribute the weight and avoid damage. If your only available surface isn't concrete, talk to your provider about whether or not they'll be sending plates.
You should review the clearance between the trailer, your building(s), and any surrounding landscaping or power lines. Will the trailer have room to extend any pop-outs or awnings? Will there be room for ramps? Try pretending you are a patient and walk through their experience accessing the mobile CT trailer. If you need to reconsider your location, the sooner you know- the better.
Being able to push images to PACS will be a must for the mobile trailer. You'll need to discuss the project in advance with your IT department to set expectations and to make sure a network connection is run to the outside of the building beside the power connection. There will likely be some protocols that need to be adjusted during setup and applications training in order to smooth out the trailer's communication with your network. An IT team member should be scheduled for the day your trailer arrives to work with the setup engineer to make the connection. An IT team member should also be present during applications training to make sure protocols are set up correctly for the CT to communicate with your PACS.
A mobile CT will require 3-phase power. In terms of voltage, each trailer's needs are a little different so be sure to check in with your provider to see what those requirements will be. Often, a specific connector (Russellstoll is the predominant manufacturer) is required. Coordinating to have an electrician change out the plug (if needed) in advance of the trailer's arrival is best.
Just like a regular CT, your mobile trailer will require consumables. Take a moment to consider what injector syringes, dyes, printer files, etc. will be needed. If you need an ER gurney, be certain you will have one free. Some gurneys are too long for the patient lift platform. We recommend you check with your provider to see how long the patient lift is and order the proper gurneys in advance.
Each state has different regulations for mobile CT trailers. If you work in one of the states that require a certificate of need (CON), there may be some additional application and documentation that you will have to take care of via state channels. If you aren’t yet familiar with your state’s laws, the very best thing you can do is check with your state's radiation safety department and ask a lot of questions up front.
When it comes to getting your facility ready for a mobile CT trailer, there are two "nutshell" takeaways that should guide the process:
1. Plan early- If you can, start planning before you sign your rental agreement. The more time you have, the more potential issues you can avoid.
2. Communicate often- Your provider, your IT department, your state; drop a line periodically to anyone who has a hand in making your project work. When everyone is clear on their part in the plan, it goes much more smoothly.
If your rental isn't in the works yet, we'd love to talk with you about your project. You can let us know what you need by clicking the button below and filling out our quick and easy rental request form.
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.