Having a medical imaging system installed at your facility is no small feat. MRI machines, PET/CT scanners, cath/angio labs- once they arrive on your doorstep, units like these can take up to a week to get up and running, not to mention the time you may spend before that as you remodel or build to accommodate them. Even a more compact modality like a mammography machine or a DEXA scanner requires advance preparation and coordination between multiple parties.
Fortunately, a reputable equipment provider will have engineering and logistics professionals in place to guide you through those processes. Still, as any of those professionals will tell you, there are a few key things you can do to help them help you. The following are some top tips you can use to make your imaging equipment installation run even more efficiently.
Know Which Rooms Are Affected
Know the number of adjacent rooms and spaces your project will impact. Many times a project will require the mechanical installation crew to access rooms above, beside, and/or below the room the equipment will live in. This access allows the team to identify system cabling routes that often extend into these other areas and interconnect with system components or facility networks.
Talk About Your Loading Area
It’s important for the installation team to understand all the aspects of your loading area. Do you have a dock? What’s the height of the loading dock from the ground? Does is have a lift-gate? Where is it located at your facility? Where Is the proper place to park their truck after unloading? Communication along these lines helps to keep access to your building clear for your patients, your staff, and other deliveries you may receive during the install.
Know Your Contractor Schedule
For maximum efficiency, it is important that any other contractors involved in preparing/finishing your imaging space have completed their responsibilities and cleared their equipment and supplies prior to the installation team's arrival. It can become very cramped having multiple teams working in the same room at once.
Talk About Access
Prior to their arrival, it is very important that the installation team understand your facility’s specific building access requirements. Many facilities have security protocols and key card entries that can complicate the comings and goings involved in a large equipment installation. The installation team should also be informed of any hours or days of the week where they will not be able to access the equipment areas.
Having a clear understanding of facility layout can greatly decrease the time spent working on a system. It is also very important to know what types of environments the system will be moving through. Many times a system must be moved through a populated area, so it is best to know when the slow times will be.
Dedicate a Communicator
Having a clear line of communication between your site and the team dispatched to install your equipment is critical. What we've come to identify as best practice for this is for your site to pick one person to communicate and share their contact information across several methods with the install team. Cell phone numbers, desk phone numbers, and email addresses should be exchanged between both parties. If anyone other than your "point person" needs to contact the installers for any reason, ask that they do so via email and copy the point person in. This not only keeps the key communicator informed, but acts as confirmation that all the necessary feedback and follow-up have happened.
Ultimately, if you're working with a reputable provider, their professional install team will see to it that any obstacle is addressed and your system is installed as efficiently as possible. On the other hand, the steps above will not only help you help them achieve that outcome- your team will be better informed, your staff and patients will be more comfortable during the process, and the possibility of setbacks will diminish.