”An Ounce of Prevention Can Avoid a Pound of Pain”
If you operate your clinic or hospital on the adage if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, not only are you making poor business choices, but you will end up spending much more money in the long run. Medicine and medical imaging is a business, and chances are, you are in the market to make as much money as possible, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money. While preventative maintenance for your medical imaging machines may cost a service fee, this is money well spent to keep your machines operating at peak condition, which will keep the patients coming through the door. Here, we will outline just a few ways that preventative maintenance can help your company save money.
First things first, let’s discuss what preventative maintenance consists of for your medical imaging equipment. Once yearly at a minimum, you should schedule a maintenance overview, or more frequently if your clinic or hospital sees a high volume of patient traffic. As part of the preventative services, you should receive a thorough cleaning of the internal and external components of the machine. For some simple machines, this can be to clear dust and debris, but for larger machines such as an MRI, the cleaning is necessary to remove dye and ensure internal fluids are clean and promoting peak functioning. Technicians should run performance tests to ensure that every part of the machine is functioning as it should. Performance testing will identify any minor issues, which will allow the technician to repair them before it becomes a problem. And, finally, preventative maintenance should include system calibrations that ensure coding and functions are performing as they should.
Routine Maintenance is Cheaper Than Repair/ Replacement
While it is true that maintenance of any kind does cost money, it should be considered a cost of doing business and should have been calculated in the purchase price when you budgeted for the machine. The good news is that routine and preventative maintenance is significantly cheaper than emergency repair or the cost of replacing the machine altogether. Budgeting for preventative maintenance is predictable and easy to plan, whereas unpredicted repairs or replacement can come as quite the financial shock. As you probably already know, replacing a medical imaging machine can cost tens of thousands of dollars. A few hundred dollars a year is all it takes to prevent or identify issues early. A great comparison is an oil change on your car. Although you may feel a little irritated by the money that you spend on routine oil changes, it is an insignificant price when compared to the cost of replacing an engine that has seized up.
When something minor happens to your medical imaging machine, it can be enough to put it out of commission for hours, days, or weeks while it is repaired. Downtime means that you are not able to use the machine, and thus business is lost until the repairs can be made. Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed that your patients that the downtime affected will reschedule their appointment with you, rather than heading down the street to the clinic with a working machine. When you invest the time and money into preventative maintenance services, issues and potential problems can be identified and corrected before they cause downtime or a catastrophic machine failure. Operating MRI equipment can generate as much as 10,000 dollars an hour, which means that every hour of downtime can create a huge financial impact on business.
Extend the Life of the Machine
Medical imaging machines have quite the impressive lifespan if they are properly cared for. In fact, with proper care and maintenance, it is likely that your machine will need to be replaced due to advances in technology long before the mechanical components fail. A typical MRI machine can be expected to last a little over a decade. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can expect to extend that by three to five years. Without proper care and routine maintenance, however, it is not unlikely that your MRI machine begins to wear down and cause problems within three to four years, less if it sees a high volume of traffic.
Just like a car, routine service and preventative maintenance on your medical imaging machine can make a world of positive difference in the operation and performance of your machines, which impacts the bottom line — the money your business makes. If you are looking for an experienced medical imaging equipment service company in the Miami area, contact us at Bravo Imaging today. Our technicians can come and perform a maintenance overview and assess your clinic’s needs and recommend maintenance that would yield the best outcome for your machine. For more information or to schedule your maintenance overview, contact us today!