In the mobile imaging environment there are two types of services: mobile imaging providers and mobile imaging brokers. Both have value and a purpose in connecting healthcare needs with a solution, but they aren't quite the same in how they do it. Mobile providers and brokers both take responsibility in giving access to mobile imaging equipment to healthcare providers and, ultimately, patients. The difference, then? The ownership of the imaging equipment.
Below, we'll share how the difference between mobile imaging providers and brokers plays out for users and their needs.
Mobile providers (Block Mobile Imaging, for one) own the equipment and are responsible for the service of the mobile coach, whether there's a CT, MR, PET/CT, or anything else inside. A mobile broker is more of a connection point between mobile equipment users in need and mobile equipment providers. Brokers have a breadth of relationships and contacts that can help make finding the right system/rental agreement easier.
Sometimes, poor communication muddies the waters during a rental search. One effect that often takes place is needlessly exciting the market, which creates a cumbersome back and forth among several parties. Mobile imaging rental is a relatively small world, so it's easy for redundant conversations to happen. This confuses the process and raises more questions concerning availability than it answers.
Many is the time we've heard from stressed-out customers, practically having an ulcer over a scenario that never needed to be complicated in the first place. Here's an example: The customer calls several potential ‘providers’ after finding names/numbers on a web search. A few of the groups contacted are providers, and a few are brokers. The brokers connect the customer with some providers but, they don't know who the customer has already contacted, so some of them are providers they've already spoken with. This pushes several providers to try and cover the availability of what seems like multiple coaches when, in reality, the customer they spoke to at 10:00 and the broker they spoke to at 10:30 are talking about the same rental. Now there's confusion, and a big hitch in the flow of information to the customer.
Since most mobile rentals are time sensitive and imperative to patient care, asking the question “Do you own the mobile imaging coach?” of each organization you contact will let you know if you're talking to a provider or a broker, and save time and confusion. Both types of organizations have the ability to serve you well- as long as you know which kind of service is being offered.
As always, if you have more questions on this, or any other mobile imaging topic, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be honored to help in any way can.
Written by Zack Mitchell
Zack Mitchell is the Vice President of Turnkey Solutions at Block Imaging. In his work, Zack seeks to make every customer interaction more than just a transaction. Outside the office, he is a husband, father, Cubbies fan, and recreational lawn mower.