So, you’ve decided it's time to retire your mammography system. You’ve found a buyer for the equipment and an imaging tech vendor to uninstall and remove it; now what? Perhaps there's anticipation, as you await the arrival of a new unit. Perhaps it's bittersweet as your facility closes or moves in a different direction in patient care. In either case, there is a series of steps that should be taken to save time, frustration, and money as the day approaches for this system to find a new home. The removal itself consists of several steps that you may also want to be aware of.
Some of the steps below refer to how mammo evaluation and removal are handled by Block Imaging. Specific procedures may differ from vendor to vendor but, in our eighteen years, we've found each of the points addressed here to be a best practice for an efficient inspection and a smooth removal.
Before Inspection and Removal
Ensure the room is clear of anything that is not part of the mammo system. This step might seem like a given, but our technicians have run into issues with it before- especially if the unit has not been in use for a while, leaving the opportunity for the room to become an office "catch-all".
Collect all phantoms, pads, accessory carts, manuals, and software and put them in the same place. This will save time as the technicians will not have to search for these items. It will also help make certain that your buyer will be receiving everything that they are expecting to.
Schedule an electrician to be available to disconnect the system from power on the day of the removal. While the power will need to be on for the removal technicians to test the unit's functionality and position it for safe transport, after the inspection is completed, it needs to be disconnected safely by a professional.
If your site has particular needs, such as loading before/after a certain time, or day(s) that work better, please let your vendor know so that they can do their best to accommodate. A removal team typically arrives first thing in the morning to begin evaluation and will most likely be ready to load the unit onto the truck in the mid-afternoon.
The Day Of
On the day of the planned removal, here are a few things to keep in mind to help the process go smoothly. The goal of these preparations is to perform the removal with as little impact as possible on your team’s ability to care for patients.
When the technicians arrive, they will perform a visual evaluation of the system, test it for full functionality, test its calibration, and take inventory to ensure that the accessories are all present. Imagine a process similar to inspecting a used car that you're considering. You would want to kick the tires and take it for a test drive, right? The inspection process typically takes less than an hour for analog systems and up to two hours for digital systems.
After inspection, the technicians will reach out to their project manager to discuss their findings. If the system is acceptable, payment arrangements will be made, and the removal of the system will begin. This is when your electrician will be needed to safely remove the system from facility power and lock out the breaker panel.
The technicians will disconnect and remove the remaining cables between the system components, pack up the accessories, remove the detector (for digital units), and prepare the components for shipment. This process will take a few hours and can be completed with the door closed and minimal noise/disturbance to your patients and staff.
The technicians will then move the system components out of the room and to the truck. Again, this will be done with sensitivity to your team, and your patients so that the impact of the removal on your normal day-to-day operations will be minimal.
Whether this is a moment of excitement or sadness for you, we know this system played a part in your facility’s ability to provide great care to your patients and for some, provided a second chance at life. We hope to do the same with this system at its new home.
The specifics of your removal situation may vary, but completing the preparation steps beforehand and knowing what to expect on the day of your mammography machine removal will help the process move efficiently, without costly delays.
Whether you're in the process of selling your mammo or searching the preowned/refurbished market for your next solution, we have experts ready to help at each step of the way. Contact us with your questions or check out our other free resources for more information.