Mobile CT Scanners Open New Possibilities for Hospitals and Clinics
A CT scanner is almost never an impulse buy. These systems are expensive, they require optimized and controlled environments and, often, there aren’t enough patients to justify the purchase of a fixed, always-on-site machine.
This is where a mobile CT scanner may come in handy. For smaller hospitals, clinics, and private imaging centers that want to keep their patients local and create an extra revenue stream, the advantages of a mobile CT scanner outweigh those of a fixed machine.
The advantages of a mobile CT scanner include:
- Shared costs and/or services among several sites
- Lower initial investments
- Shorter installation time with fewer logistical issues
- Ability to “test” CT scanner technology before purchasing
- Decreased downtime and backlog when building a site or experiencing problems with a current scanner
- Less traveling for patients
Below you will find a complete overview of these benefits, showing how a mobile CT scanner might just be the ideal solution for your hospital or clinic.
Advantage #1: Mobility
A mobile CT scanner is exactly what it sounds like—a computed tomography system on wheels. Typically, the scanner is housed within a specially designed trailer that resembles a big 18-wheeler, which allows it move from one medical center to the next with relative ease.
Upon its arrival to the site, the mobile scanner is unpacked and plugged in (similar to the way you might power your motorhome on vacation). When the scanner needs to move to its next location, trained technicians pack it down and send it on its way.
Advantage #2: Costs and Benefit Sharing
A fixed scanner may not be feasible for a small, 30-bed clinic that doesn’t receive the income of a big, glamorous hospital. In a rural setting, there may be several of these smaller hospitals and clinics nearby.
By collectively investing in a mobile scanner together, the network of hospitals can share the scanner (including the costs and benefits) among several sites. For example, a network of 12 hospitals can pool their resources to purchase a mobile scanner. This way, they can provide CT imaging to their respective patients and create another source of revenue without the up-front costs of a fixed system.
Advantage #3: Lower Up-Front Costs
You might be thinking, “But if the scanner moves around in a truck, the image quality must surely suffer.” This is a good point. CT scanners require specific quality control, expert staff, and maintenance to ensure quality and accurate imagining. Although there is no difference in image quality between fixed and mobile systems, the mobile scanners generally require higher operating costs to maintain their image quality.
However, don’t let this turn you away. The convenience of a mobile CT scanner coupled with its lower capital expenditures can offset the operating costs by a fairly large margin.
For example, getting a mobile system means that you don’t have to build a CT exam room or adapt one for CT use. Therefore, you also don’t have to rely on construction crews, contractors, architects, a machine vendor, and so forth. Mobile scanners often require one entity to work with, and, theoretically speaking, a mobile CT manufacturer could park outside your local Wal-Mart and start giving scans for the on-site Care Clinic. These systems are that versatile.
Advantage #4: CT System Rentals
Because there is no need for a buildout, a hospital can also rent or lease a mobile unit to “test” the machine, its technology, and its viability in the specific hospital setting. Also, before buying a fixed machine, you can use a mobile system to determine whether on-site CT scanning will be profitable for the clinic.
On the other hand, let’s say your current CT scanner has malfunctioned or the hospital needs X months to finish building its imaging center. A mobile scanner at the hospital can reduce the patient backlog while bringing in an income and continuing to provide quality care.
Advantage #5: Keeping Patients Local
When it comes to your patients, quality-of-care is synonymous with proximity and availability of treatment. Therefore, an advantage of mobile CT scanners is their ability to keep your patients local.
With a mobile system, especially in rural areas, people can drive fewer distances to receive their scans. And in terms of the bottom line, keeping patients local is essential to the health of the community as well as the financial well-being of the hospital or clinic.
It is important to remember that a mobile CT scanner isn’t the right solution in every situation. In larger hospitals with a sustainable amount of scans every month, a fixed scanner makes better economic sense. For the thousands of smaller hospitals and clinics, however, the versatility and the benefits of a mobile scanner can help ensure a stronger business and, therefore, better care for your patients.
If you’re not sure whether a mobile device will be suitable for your clinic or hospital, you can speak with one of our expert sales representatives by contacting us or calling today at (440) 459-1625.