MRI machines are one of the most powerful diagnostic tools in modern medicine, providing detailed images of the inside of our bodies. Staying current and providing physicians and patients access to this kind of equipment, will help you retain or augment your workflow, providing the most important: better healthcare for your patients.
If your facility is short on space, if the need for a replacement of an existing unit is presented, or if you need to keep scanning during a renovation or if a spike of higher demand must be dealt with, a Mobile MRI machine is a great solution.
Before you connect with one of the medical equipment leasing companies that offer various flexible solutions and attractive lease plans, keep in mind five key elements:
1. Base your decision on a Viable Business Plan
Develop a solid financial program that will align with your growth goals to the equipment you should acquire. Move strategically and analyze the market situation and the acquisitions of the competition. A good preparation will always minimize any risks and will set any negative hypotheses aside.
2. Identify the Right Model
The top manufacturers of Mobile MRI machines have developed and produce excellent- quality mobile-ready scanners. Some examples of such models are the following:
The GE SIGNA Excite 1.5T MRI
The GE SIGNA HDxT 1.5T MRI
The GE SIGNA Explorer 1.5T MRI
The GE SIGNA Voyager 1.5T MRI
The Philips Intera 1.5T MRI
The Philips Achieva 1.5T MRI
The Siemens MAGNETOM Avanto 1.5T MRI
The Siemens MAGNETOM Espree 1.5T MRI
The Siemens MAGNETOM Avanto 1.5T MRI
(Most mobile MRI machines are housed in a 48’ semi-trailer. These are typically provided by three companies: Kentucky Trailer, MedCoach, and Ellias & Watts. The full dimensions are 48’ L x 8.5’ W x 13.5 H.)
In collaboration with the right retailer or the right medical equipment leasing company, you can select the best option for your business.
3. Consider Placement of the Machine
Although this kind of equipment can be placed exactly where it is required, planning for its best placement and ideal operation is necessary. Even more so if we talk about a mobile MRI unit, some more basic parameters must be considered:
Pad (a parking spot for the mobile MRI unit, that must be in an area removed from traffic, vibration and obstructions)
Power (the standard power required to operate a mobile MRI machine is 480 Volt AC but in addition to that, power requirements for telephone and data services need to be considered as well)
Connection and Building access that allows for an easy and secure flow of both personal and patients (under all conditions: independent walking, wheelchairs, portable ward beds).
*As the actual requirements might vary state by state and machine by machine, always consult your service provider as well as the state and local laws regarding the planning process.
4. Determine the Right Equipment Leasing Plan
To fully capitalize on your investment, the choice of the best leasing plan is imperative. Medical equipment leasing companies allow you to maintain steady cash flow, stay relevant and upgrade your equipment more consistently, they offer competitive prices and experienced personnel that will guide you through the different manufacturers and models but most importantly, they offer you the flexibility of a rental, without the burden of ownership.
Fix the duration and type of your contract to your convenience! The most popular falling terms oscillate between 36- and 60-month terms. A good understanding of what is offered in each leasing plan will allow you to obtain the best deal medically and financially.
5. Don’t forget Service and Maintenance
Mobile MRI machines are high-tech sensitive apparatuses. Service and Maintenance are critical factors for the optimal and uninterrupted use of your scanner. Knowing this you will provide you with some valuable information before acquiring your equipment. In the case of an MRI machine in a mobile unit, service costs are close to the same price as a fixed system and if the system is moving frequently between facilities, do not be surprised if the cost is somewhat higher (since a more frequent maintenance schedule is likely required).
Another essential element of concern is the coverage of the trailer itself and its systems. The trailer service is optional and covers components like the air conditioner, chiller, electrical, doors, and gates and it is separate from the MRI system service. (Different groups work on the various components, like how a different maintenance group would work on the building where a fixed MRI machine is located).
In many different cases, the acquisition of a mobile MRI Machine is an attractive option. If combined with the right leasing plan this decision could exceed any expectations you might have had before connecting with a medical equipment leasing company.
Mike Myers is the VP of Healthcare at Meridian Leasing, an equipment leasing, and financing company based in Deerfield, IL. With more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare and finance industries, Mike excels at building medical equipment strategies that meet the clinical and financial needs of their clients.