Buy A New MRI Machine and Getting The Right Equipment
Whether you are in an independent imaging center or part of a hospital group or department, you will eventually face the same problem: the need to buy equipment.
MRI Industry expert Nathan Smith says there is much to consider financially and clinically when deciding what to buy for your MRI center. In addition, the choice is highly customized according to clinical needs and financial parameters.
Whether you are in an urban facility that uses specialized equipment or in a rural community facility setting that needs machines for more general studies, taking these factors into account can help you make effective purchasing decisions.
What to consider when buying an MRI machine
“The right budget for a purchase requires much more than just spending money,” says Nathan Smith, senior president of diagnostic imaging for Georgia Bone and Joint.
There are many other factors to consider.
Existing resources: analyze your current equipment, he says, and consider replacing old machines with new machines that offer better clinical results.
Delay: If there are too many patients waiting for appointments, consider adding another machine or replacing yours with a higher performance model. Just make sure the patient’s request deserves the purchase, says Nathan.
References: determines if the suppliers send you references. If there is a decrease, find out why. If the problem is image quality, opt for the budget for new equipment, he says.
Competition: the purchase of equipment to offer services that are not available in other places can increase the reference base and strengthen the revenue stream.
However, make sure that the costs of the new equipment do not exceed the purchase costs.
Assumption: the quality team attracts quality suppliers, says Nathan. Strong suppliers will be encouraged to work with you if you offer advanced equipment instead of obsolete machines.
Workflow: Examine your workflow, says Sarah Verna, global marketing manager for X-ray solutions with Carestream, to determine where your existing equipment does not work and where you need new benefits.
Finding the costs associated with the new equipment is relatively simple, says David Myrice, director of practice management at Zotec Partners.
Get quotes on purchase prices and maintenance costs, as well as warranty information and use this information to determine your monthly payment.
“Its cost outflow is a mathematical formulation,” he says. “What is more subjective and much more difficult, where you risk making mistakes, is on the revenue side.”
When considering a new purchase, the potential for total revenue is unclear and an overvaluation can create problems.
To help you determine how much you can spend realistically on MRI equipment, in the worst case, in the likely case and in the best case where the flow of income could change. Resist temptation, he says, to focus only on the best possible results. Instead, base purchase decisions on more realistic numbers to identify how risky the purchase could be.
What equipment to buy Once you’ve decided to buy, your budget limits will largely determine if you can afford a new device or if you need to buy a renewed model.
If you buy a new one, says Nathan, it’s essential to buy an upgradeable computer. “As an investor, it is never advisable to buy a unit at a dead end,” he says. “You want to see scalability.
Purchasing an MRI machine that can be modified is extremely critical. You may not need cardiac function today, but you may want it tomorrow.” In some cases, however, updates are not possible.
For example, buy digital equipment to replace the analog.
Reconditioned models, in general, offer new model features, only in older and more affordable packages.
Your Equipment Suppliers
Each supplier reconstructs and certifies the machines according to their own quality standards, but it is necessary to work closely together to ensure that the older models adapt to their visual and clinical needs.
“Your medical team is the face of your practice and its services.” You don’t want any scratches or missing parts or dents, “he says.”
You can get excellent results with the renewed equipment, but when you buy it, make sure you have the latest software. You don’t want to make clinical commitments.
“In fact, says Nathan, discuss your clinical needs before facing your financial limit. Always choose a team that exceeds your needs.
“We are in the medical sector and good medicine is good business,” he says. “Patient care and product quality should come first in discussions.
This way you can see the money. If a product does not allow you to accelerate clinically, a financial discussion is not worth it.
“See the upgrade costs and whether it is even possible to bring current equipment to the new technological standard,” says Nathan. “Knowing the volume of the current procedure and whether to increase or replace it can help you determine how a purchase is within your budget.”