We see it all the time- a facility puts off shopping for their next R/F room until the current system is on its very last leg, or worse, already failing. Reimbursement rates being what they are, coupled with the technological leaps in other imaging modalities over the last 15 years, this procrastination is somewhat understandable. For some facilities, it can seem like the only reason to replace their R/F room is to placate their accreditation organization.
If you feel that way, we can reassure you that there are plenty of other reasons to replace and upgrade your current R/F room with a late-model refurbished system well before it goes kaput. Here are what we consider the biggest:
If your current system is older but still running well, it might be a perfect candidate for a trade-in. Most vendors that deal in refurbished equipment also purchase used equipment. Trading in can help offset the cost of an upgraded unit and, of course, trading in a system that's in better condition increases your chances of maximizing that offset.
Admittedly, the core technology of an R/F room hasn't changed all that much over the last 15 years, especially not when compared to modalities like CT and MRI. However, this should not be taken as complete stagnation in the modality. Newer R/F models have greatly improved user interfaces (i.e. GE Precision 500D vs. GE Legacy). The interfaces of the last few years are far more intuitive and user-friendly. They reduce the learning curve for new staff and improve workflow and patient throughput. Newer systems are also more likely to offer remote service diagnostics, which can save huge amounts of downtime in the event a service call is needed.
Planned Downtime is Always Better than Surprise Downtime
If your facility is hobbling through on an R/F room that could scan for the last time any day, there's a higher chance that it will fail and put you out of commission for the better part of a month (or longer). Anything on your schedule will need to be bumped back significantly or referred elsewhere. Shopping for a replacement earlier will allow you to plan the downtime in advance. If your equipment vendor has a skilled project management team, the removal of your current system and the install of your upgrade can be scheduled back-to-back, seamlessly and minimize your downtime.
We know it's superficial, but the look of your system has an effect on people. We're talking about that yellow system that used to be white, with the big knobs and buttons like a leftover set piece from Star Trek. Patients don't trust it and doctors and technicians avoid using it. Newer equipment models look, well... newer. Moreover, equipment that undergoes a quality refurbishment process is freshly painted with new logos and decals applied.
If you've been putting off R/F shopping, now is the time to reconsider. Even if you're pretty sure your R/F room has several more good years in it, it's always a wise idea to know what your options are. Refurbished systems are readily available and cost just a fraction of what a new system does.
We're here to help you find an R/F room that will meet your functional needs and your budgetary needs. Contact us for a quote or simply to ask any other questions you might have. You can also learn more about selecting the best R/F for you and selling your current system in one of our free eguides.