For a facility to offer the best service and care possible to its patients, you’ll need to have diagnostic imaging systems, such as an MRI scanner. Doing so will ensure that patients approach you for all their needs instead of deferring to another facility, keeping the revenue in your practice while establishing a better relationship with them. However, you’ll need to consider many things when installing an MRI scanner, two of which involve estimating the market potential and assessing the market share you want to achieve.
Carrying out initial market research will help you predict the patient load your MRI scanner must accommodate, the demand for the scan in your area, and what your competitors offer. Here’s what you need to do before purchasing and installing an MRI scanner:
Research Your Local Market
Most of your patients will come from your local community, so it’s important to improve your services and treatment protocols. Doing this will ensure that you establish yourself as a reputable and reliable treatment center that can serve your patients’ future imaging needs. For this reason, before you begin investing in a system, be sure to research your local community and the other MRI facilities they can access. Check out their equipment, the patient load they process, and the most common scans they accommodate. By gathering enough information, you can make an informed decision that will help set you apart from your competitors.
Check the Potential Referral Base
Once you’ve researched the local market, check your physician referral base, which will give you an accurate picture of the business prospect of adding an MRI scanner to your facility. Talk to your local medical community to understand when and how patients are referred to get scanned, and their imaging needs. For instance, you may want to identify the leading medical practitioners in your area, the types of scans they perform, and where patients go to have these done. Looking into the imaging equipment that other imaging centers have will offer you a good idea of what you need to have in your facility to provide a high caliber of service and the number of patients you can realistically target.
Gauge Your Capability of Attracting Patients
Most standard facilities have a 1.5 T MRI system, as can accommodate most imaging needs. However, if you’re a startup, you may consider a less powerful MRI machine due to the sheer expense of the upgrade, but this may cost you the business edge you need to succeed. Still, you can make less powerful machines work with a few enhancements. With this in mind, assess how many patients your system can attract and be sure to consider future workload and application support, as MRIs are good for at least ten years.
Assess Local Market Needs
The next thing to do is to evaluate what the people in your community need, which will determine your business potential and help you set good prices. Look at the demographics, the average age, their lifestyle, and the population of your location. Check the essential services that local physicians offer patients and how you can insert yourself in the patient journey by networking with them and ensuring they refer their patients to your facility.
Evaluate Internal Expectations and Investments
Lastly, it’s vital to carry out a careful evaluation of your facility, internal expectations, and the investments you need to make before installing an MRI scanner. It will probably be the most expensive investment you’ll make, so you’ll need to conduct a break-even analysis to identify how many scans you need to perform to earn how much you spent. You may also want to consider financing options to make the purchase more affordable.
MRIs are a great way to expand your offerings and serve more patients, which will open up more avenues for income. However, it is not something you can visualize in a vacuum, as there are many other factors to consider. By doing these five actions, you’ll have a clearer view of your business potential and profitability when investing in an MRI scanner.
DirectMed Parts is the leading supplier of diagnostic imaging equipment and parts that fit a wide range of systems, such as the Philips MRI Achieva 3T and the Siemens MRI Symphony. We also specialize in the installation and repair of these systems. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your facility.