It’s a new year! As we set new goals for our facilities, one major question arises: when is it time to upgrade or let go of x-ray equipment? X-ray machines aren’t as easy to replace as other technologies, X-ray equipment may seem like workhorses for years before it’s too late. Aging machines may begin to break down more frequently, increasing your facilities downtime, and lower the quality of care for your patients. What are some things to look out for when deciding it’s time to upgrade? Here are three main factors that affects the future of your x-ray equipment, and help you decide the right time to upgrade.
When it comes to x-ray, systems across multiple modalities can continue working tirelessly for years. Age alone may not be reason enough to upgrade but as digital technologies continue to advance, systems that rely on computer operating systems may become obsolete and fail to sustain adequate support with newer technologies. Is your facility still working with analog-only x-ray systems? It’s always useful to look at your equipment’s age as a starting point and then determine whether it’s worth switching out for something newer using the next two factors:
Is your facility handling the same volume of patients as it did when you purchased your machine? As medical providers, we are always looking to grow our facilities to best serve as many people as possible while keeping costs low. That potentially means increasing your system’s capacity beyond your current needs and giving your clinic, hospital, or facility room to grow. A newer system provides faster workflows, which results in shorter wait times for image acquisition, an increase in quality of care, and an increase to your bottom line.
Even with regular maintenance, x-ray systems begin to break down over time. Solutions may seem small at first with minimal downtime, but as your system ages, the frequency and length of downtime increases. Take a look at the amount of times your system has experienced downtime in the last three years and compare the cost of repair alongside the cost of your facility not being able to provide service or care. As technology becomes obsolete, replacement parts become harder to find and consequently become more expensive. Of course, even if your systems aren’t malfunctioning, any downtime could make a significant impact on your facilities overall performance.