Medical imaging systems are a huge capital investment for any healthcare organization. Choosing the right MRI, CT, or X-ray hardware is only part of the decision. Equally important is your choice of equipment vendor – which isn’t as easy as it first appears. It’s more than simply choosing who’s going to sell you the equipment for the lowest price.
Your buying decision will impact the size of the initial expenditure, of course, but it will also affect the cost of installation, setup, and testing, as well as ongoing expenses for spare parts, preventive maintenance, and repair. You’ll be dealing with these costs for the life of the equipment, so they’re even more important to consider than initial purchase price. In addition, you’ll want to think about how your decision will influence your flexibility and independence in the years to come.
The medical imaging industry would have you believe there are only four ways to buy a medical imaging system:
1. Brokers – These are buyers and sellers for both new and used equipment. Their goal is to get the sale, make a profit, and take as little risk as possible. In many cases, they are simply the intermediary between a seller and buyer and keep their involvement to a bare minimum. They will either sub-contract for the refurbishment, transport, installation, and initial testing of the system, or leave those tasks in the hands of the buyer.
Because of their lack of involvement, brokers are typically the cheapest alternative, but this purchase path does have its downsides. The most obvious is the absence of “skin in the game” on the part of the vendor. This short-term business arrangement provides a host of opportunities for a sub-par solution. More importantly, however, is that it leaves the buyer holding the bag when it comes to maintaining and servicing their new system.
2. Equipment Providers/Service Organizations – Most often, these companies own the equipment they’re selling. As part of the sale, they offer service warranties or coverage agreements that use their own in-house engineering team, or have a strong relationship with one or more field service partners.
These organizations are generally more reputable, so there’s a higher level of quality assurance and the peace of mind that goes with it. Because of their ongoing involvement, they are highly motivated to provide the best equipment and overall solution for your needs.
The downside of this arrangement is a higher initial cost and the lack of flexibility that comes with a long-term parts and service contract.
3. Partners/Parent Companies – These companies generally provide a more comprehensive solution, but in exchange, they require a percentage of the income earned by the equipment … or even by the business itself. Since they have a vested interest in the success of the business, they may offer the highest quality solution.
On the upside, this a turnkey solution since the sale includes installation, setup and testing, spare parts, preventive maintenance, and repair. On the downside, the buyer’s financial success may be hampered by years of reduced profits.
4. Consultant Group – These groups are similar to a parent or partner company in that they offer the same package of integrated benefits without asking for a piece of the action. They provide everything needed to transport and install a system, get it up and running, and then keep it running for years to come. All of this is in exchange for an upfront warranty or long-term service contract.
Remember we said that the medical imaging industry would have you believe these are the only four ways to buy a medical imaging system? So, what’s the fifth?
The Fifth Solution to Buying a Biomedical Imaging System
Technical Prospects provides an alternative to purchasing an imaging system in one of those traditional ways. We incorporate the best aspects of the other four approaches, but also offer a level of flexibility, independence, and cost savings that isn’t available any other way.
Our “build-from-within” 360° Solution puts your organization in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing, purchasing, and maintaining a system that suits your needs and your capital equipment budget, while also allowing for unhindered growth and flexibility in the years to come. It’s an approach built on these five pillars:
1. Expertise – Whether you’re evaluating a new system, looking at a refurbished system, or just trying to figure out the best way to manage your existing equipment, we can help. We offer over 100 years of experience and have the know-how to guide you through the entire process, from initial planning and purchase to end-of-life and beyond.
2. Service – From the very beginning, we are there. We’ll help you make preparations for your new system, install it properly, get it set up and tested, and make sure it’s running perfectly. After that, we’ll keep it in tip-top condition and quickly get it back in the game if it goes down unexpectedly.
3. Training – When your organization is ready for even bigger cost savings, increased uptime, and more flexibility, we can help you bring your MRI, CT, and X-ray maintenance program in house. We’ll up-train BMETs or other members of your existing team of imaging professionals to the role of ACI-certified imaging engineers, either in person at our AAMI-certified training center, or almost anywhere via our Interactive Virtual Training Academy (IVTA). Having an in-house service staff saves considerable time and money while giving you the independence you need to grow and improve patient care.
4. Parts – Once you’ve got an in-house service department, we’ll continue working with your team to supply them with the parts and supplies they’ll need to keep your system(s) up and running. In addition to those parts, we’ll provide the expertise needed to successfully diagnose the problem and get the right new or used replacement part(s) the first time – parts that are packaged properly, shipped at the speed you need, and guaranteed not to arrive DOA.And when your team is ready to take the next step, we’ll help you establish an in-house inventory of the parts and supplies commonly needed to maintain your specific system(s). Having the right parts on-hand can potentially reduce unplanned downtime to nearly zero.
5. Support – Every step of the way, 24 hours/day, we’ll be there to help you and your team be successful. We’re only a phone call away. Medical imaging is a crucial part of your organization’s patient care, and we know that system downtime and high costs can mean the difference between success and failure. Our support provides a solution to both.
The Next Step, No Matter Where You Are in the Buying Process
Whether you’re starting up a new facility or have an existing installed fleet of medical imaging systems, you owe it to everyone in your organization, as well as your patients, to find out how Technical Prospects can provide ways to save money, reduce system downtime, increase professional growth opportunities, and ultimately improve patient care. Our services are available a la carte or packaged in a way that suits your needs best. We’re not only the fifth solution, we’re the best solution.
Contact us today and let us know how we can help you succeed.