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Imaging Equipment Purchasing: 4 Questions to Ask Before 'How Much?'

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Each and every day, our team has the opportunity to speak with dozens of imaging providers to discuss potential equipment upgrades from MR, to CT, cath labs, C-arms, PET/CT, digital mammo, bone densitometry, X-ray, and R/F rooms. Often, a conversation starts with price when in reality there are at least four key questions to tackle before narrowing in on the ever-so-important price question.

What are the clinical needs for this imaging system? 

Whether upgrading or adding a new modality, this is the foundational question. Does your facility need cardiac imaging? Metal artifact reduction software? Will you conduct weight-bearing exams? What about XR-29 compliance for CT, wide bore MRIs for claustrophobic and larger patients, or a single plane cath lab versus a bi-plane? The list is endless- and it’s the most worthwhile starting point when considering an equipment purchase. 

What space is available, and how is it configured?

Once there’s a clear picture of the unique clinical demands of the new system, it’s time to confirm what the facility is equipped to handle from a space, flow, “noise”, and power perspective. Site planning manuals can help provide contractors with the ideal space for the system, cabinets, and changing areas as well as power and networking requirements.

What else needs to be included?

Project management support, site-specific drawings, refurbishment, delivery, rigging, installation, applications training, accessories (injectors, coils, workstations, etc.), uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), first-scan warranties, and service coverage are just a few of the key “inclusions” that are important to consider before diving into the price question (don’t worry, we’ll get there). 

Is it available?

While it may seem silly or overly simplistic, availability is a critical question. It’s mission-critical to have a clear picture of installation timing to work backward and plan deinstallation, refurbishment, and delivery timing. Delays in finding equipment can be quite costly. 

What’s the price?

Great job, you did it! Now that we know the clinical expectations, siting possibilities, and have started with the end in mind, considering everything that’s needed, ask away: "How much does it cost?" 

The Takeaway

It's easy to get hung up on price, but it usually isn't the most important thing about your imaging equipment. Besides, if you haven't talked about the specifics of your needs and your site, no simple price estimate will paint a full picture of your project cost anyway.

If you’re presently considering an equipment upgrade, please click on the button below to tell us about your needs, receive a call from our team to discuss the specifics, and learn a few pointers to help along the way in your search. 

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