When it comes to acquiring a digital x-ray system for your office, there are several factors to consider, such as the size of the table you'll need, whether or not to buy a new or used system, and which DR panel is best suited to your needs. There are also financial alternatives to weigh up, such as whether or not to finance the machine outright or lease it. We will explore these alternatives in this article.
Questions to ask when purchasing a digital x-ray system
When it comes to purchasing a digital x-ray system, there are many different choices and configurations available. It may feel difficult reviewing all the alternatives in order to discover which system is ideal for your business. To select the correct digital x-ray solution, you'll need to ask the appropriate questions.
What kind of facility will the x-ray system be in?
There is no one-size-fits-all x-ray system. The sort of facility in which the x-ray equipment will be utilized is one of the first things to think about. A large imaging center, for example, would require a different type of x-ray device than a tiny hospital. If it's a chiropractic center, you'll need a wall stand, and an x-ray table is unlikely to be necessary.
What’s my patient volume?
When shopping for a new digital x-ray system, one of the most important things to consider is the volume of patients you'll be servicing. How many people are you going to be examining every day? And how many x-rays do you anticipate taking? That will have an impact on which sort of digital x-ray system is best for your needs.
What space do I have available?
Another key point to consider is the x-ray machine's physical space requirements. You'll need to know the length, width, and height of the room as well as where the walls, windows, and doors are located. This will assist you in determining what type of system will work within the constraints of the available room area.
Do I need a table?
You'll need to pick the ideal table type for your workflow or clinic if you want to utilize one. A stationary table may feature a reflow table top, which allows the tabletop to flow from left to right. There's also an elevating table, which lowers the table so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach it. Choose the table that's appropriate for your area and your patients. And, if you're unsure, consult with the staff at Patient Image about the industry standards.
Do I need a mobile or stationary x-ray system?
When looking at different x-ray systems, one of the most important choices is whether to go with a mobile or stationary system. Traditional x-ray rooms are used solely for taking x-rays and are generally found in hospitals. The advantage of stationary x-ray systems is that they are usually more powerful than mobile ones, making them ideal for bigger patients and instances where a higher dose of radiation is required to ensure image quality.
Mobile x-ray systems are perfect for clinics with several rooms or requirements that make it difficult to install a permanent system. A mobile x-ray system, for example, would be ideal for a clinic with many rooms where the x-ray is taken into each room to x-ray the patient. It allows you to be more agile and efficient in your workflow, allowing you to get patients through more rapidly.
Table options for your digital x-ray system
If you're shopping for a digital x-ray system for your practice, you'll need to choose the right table for it. The following are the four most frequent types of tables utilized in digital x-ray systems: mobile x-ray table, stationary x-ray table, four-way float top table, and four-way elevating table.
1. Mobile x-ray table
Mobile x-ray equipment, such as the Mobile X-Ray 2000, is built to give greater versatility and mobility than other types of x-ray machines. These tables may be freely wheeled from room to room due to their wheels, making them a great choice for facilities with little area or multipurpose rooms.
2. Stationary x-ray table
Stationary x-ray tables are non removable and must be placed in the same place at all times. In urgent care facilities, hospitals, imaging centers, and other high-traffic places, stationary x-ray tables are the best option.
3. Four-way float top table
Four-way float top tables are a highly versatile choice that may be utilized in a variety of settings. Urgent care, imaging centers, and general practice are all more likely to utilize this type of x-ray table.
4. Four-way float top elevating table
The four-way float top elevating tables are a popular choice for hospitals and urgent care centers that deal with a high volume of patients. This is because they allow you to raise your patient off the ground, eliminating the need for them to shift about during the operation.
Things to consider when buying a used digital x-ray system
Digital x-ray devices can be a cost-saving alternative to buying an expensive machine, but you must ensure that you won't have to upgrade or purchase a new system within a few years.
If you're planning on growing your practice and anticipating a greater patient number, it could be time to change systems. If you're thinking of adding new services or relocating rooms, a used digital x-ray system may be the way to go.
Considerations when purchasing a used x-ray system
1. Is it operational?
It's vital to ensure that old digital x-ray machines are in working order before purchasing them. Make sure you get your equipment from a reputable vendor. Furthermore, before buying, seek an electrician's or qualified assessor's certificate. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the vendor's terms and conditions so you know your rights if the x-ray equipment fails.
2. Has it been routinely serviced?
When buying used x-ray systems, it's critical that they've been properly maintained by a specialist. We recommend that x-ray equipment be serviced at least once or twice a year to keep them functioning effectively. When purchasing a secondhand digital x-ray machine, ask your preferred vendor for the service book.
3. How has it been used?
It's critical to consider how and where the digital x-ray system has previously been utilized before purchasing it. Was the machine in a small chiropractic office or a packed hospital ward? Was there a low or high patient volume? This is crucial since it will have an impact on its longevity and cost when it comes time for maintenance or replacement.
4. How many hours has the equipment been used?
How many hours have been used and refurbished x-ray equipment has been utilized? Service records from x-ray technicians may contain this information as well as what was done and when repairs were made. Having this knowledge will assist you in determining whether or not to buy the x-ray equipment.
5. What are the costs associated?
There are several hidden costs associated with used digital x-ray systems. These expenditures might include the cost of the system, de-installation costs, and continuing maintenance fees.
6. Have any upgrades been made to the equipment?
When you acquire used x-ray equipment, it's possible that improvements will be available to help increase its longevity. These enhancements, on the other hand, are pricey, so it's critical to verify with a certified dealer whether any replacement components have been installed.
Advantages of buying new digital x-ray systems
Digital x-ray equipment may provide several benefits over older models. The pictures are frequently more crisp and detailed, making it simpler to identify issues. Furthermore, the newest machines emit less radiation, reducing the chance of harmful exposure for both patients and professionals.
Another advantage of investing in a new machine is that it comes with a guarantee or service plan, which can alleviate concerns if there is a problem with the system.
What type of DR panel do I need?
The x-ray machine is digital because of the DR panels. The DR technology is what captures the picture and sends it to your hard drive. A tethered DR panel with a size of 17x17 is common in chiropractic clinics. In urgent care, you'll more likely encounter a 17x17 wireless panel that can be maneuvered between the wall stand and table, as well as slid back and forth. DR panels are available in a variety of sizes, with the most popular being the 17x17.
Should I choose new or used x-ray equipment?
Patient Image aims to provide you with an easy method to find an x-ray solution that meets your requirements and budget. We have used equipment available for purchase if you are working with a limited budget.
Newer models frequently have longer warranties, which means you'll be protected if there are issues with the system. You may save money on new equipment upfront, but you might end up spending just as much or more over time on repairs and maintenance if you purchase used technology. New technology is also more likely to be more dependable and efficient.
The biggest mistake people make when buying an x-ray system
When you're establishing a new medical practice, it's important to think about future requirements. If you're a chiropractor, for example, you may start by simply doing x-rays of the spine. However, as your business expands, you may discover that additional x-rays of extremities are required, in which case a different x-ray system would be required. If your caseload grows, you may need to invest in a new or larger x-ray machine to meet the demand. When you're initially establishing your practice, it's vital to consider these future requirements so that you can acquire the appropriate equipment.
The do's and don'ts of buying or upgrading to a digital X-ray system
When it comes to purchasing or upgrading your digital x-ray system, do your homework and be sure you're getting the best one for you and your situation.
What to keep in mind when buying a digital x-ray machine
1. Review the software that accompanies the machine
2. Confirm that the software meets your needs
3. Select a vendor that provides DR drop protection
4. Select a vendor that offers a DR loaner program
5. Ensure the digital x-ray system includes a five year warranty
6. Confirm you have the appropriate spatial requirements available
7. Confirm you can meet the suggested electrical requirements
8. Select a reputable vendor with technological experience
Pitfalls to avoid when you're ready to buy or upgrade a digital X-ray system
1. Avoid purchasing a used machine if possible
2. Beware of outdated technology
3. Avoid systems that impose monthly fees
4. Do not purchase a CR system
Good buying decisions:
- Purchase reputable equipment
- Prioritize the safety of patients and employees
- Look for time and money saving options
Bad buying decisions:
- Purchasing digital x-ray machines without a record of prior usage, a warranty, or clear terms and conditions
- Purchasing outdated systems
- High ongoing maintenance costs
- Purchasing a CR system
Financing or Leasing a Digital X-Ray System
You'll have to make a choice between financing the equipment outright or leasing it. Let's go through what financing alternatives are accessible:
Outright financing your new x-ray machine
You can opt for outright financing to buy the equipment and this will entail making consistent monthly payments until the loan is settled. The advantage of financing the equipment is that you will eventually own it and won't have to worry about making lease payments indefinitely. The disadvantage is that interest will be charged on the loan, which can make it more expensive in the long run.
Leasing your digital x-ray system
Another alternative to purchasing new medical or professional healthcare equipment is leasing. Leasing is an excellent alternative for individuals who want to buy new medical or health care equipment since it’s frequently more cost-effective in the short term because you are only paying for the usage of the equipment, not the full purchase price. The bad news is that you'll never own the equipment, and you'll have to continue paying lease instalments until the end of the term.
We have an in-house financing program at Patient Image that allows you to finance everything from your x-ray system to your DR panel, as well as any software that's linked to the system; acquisition software, viewing software, or even a PAC system. We can also include services like installation, lead shielding reporting, and even your electrical and building in-room build-out costs altogether in your financing.
What type of lenders can I have access to?
- The most familiar and reliable option are banks
- Some independent leasing companies offer competitive rates
- To find the best loan or lease, a broker can be a valuable asset
Tips for finding the best DR panel for your x-ray system
What is a DR panel?
Digital Radiography panels (DR panels) are a type of digital radiography flat panel. DR panels convert x-rays into digital signals that can then be transmitted, allowing you to view images on a computer screen or monitor. The ability to see photographs almost immediately is just one of the numerous advantages DR panels have over traditional film-based imaging systems.
There are two types of DR panels: Charge Coupled Device (CCD) and Flat-panel Detectors (FPD). CCD DR panels are less costly, but they are also less sensitive, resulting in images with lower clarity. Flat-panel Detectors (FPD) panels are more expensive, but they're more sensitive so the images are of superior quality.
Factors to consider when choosing a DR panel for your digital x-ray system
- Quality of the images
- Price and budget
- DR panel technology
DR panels offer better image quality and lower radiation, which makes them an essential component of any radiology clinic. The most common types are CSI (Cesium) and GADOX (Gadolinium). At the same price level, Cesium has a superior technology that is also less expensive. Avoid getting the older GADOX or Gadolinium technology, as newer technology is preferable.
Mistakes people make when purchasing a DR panel
Customers sometimes make the mistake of buying an X-ray system from a firm that isn't technology-driven. It's critical to deal with a business that is always ahead of the curve in terms of innovation. This way, you can be sure that you're receiving a high-quality product that will meet your needs now and in the future.
For more detailed information on digital x-ray systems, go to our Learning Hub.
There are so many things to think about, and it's difficult to know where to begin. That is why we are here to assist you. We'll work with you to choose the best machine for your business.