by Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | December 31, 2013
From the December 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Mobile medical trailers make life easier. They provide service when a hospital is replacing equipment, give facilities a chance to test out a new modality before making a purchase and help out rural hospitals that lack the capital for a permanent set-up.
But if mismanaged, mobiles can cause trouble, too. Improper site planning or IT mess-ups can turn what should be a positive experience into a disaster. Knowing the best way to approach mobile service is important, especially since more and more hospitals require it as budgets ﬁnally allow for new purchases.
“We’ve actually had several cases where we simply didn’t have a system available — couldn’t even call a colleague and ﬁnd something because their units were all out, too,” says Rich Dishman, vice president of MPX Sales and Service, LLC. “In 2009, 2010, that was almost unheard of because everything was so slow at that point.”
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To help you keep everything moving, mobile medical service professionals talked with DOTmed Business News about the most popular modalities, creative ways to use mobile service and the best ways to prepare your parking lot for the mobile’s arrival — including the tricky IT side of things.
Making the connection
Though trailers are usually temporary, facilities must take into account all of the details involved in a regular room set-up, including wireless connectivity and other IT concerns. Making the connection is the responsibility of the mobile service provider, but hospitals should have their IT teams on hand to work with the mobile side when the trailer pulls in.
“Ours is pretty plug and play,” says Mark Koers, account executive at Modular Devices Inc. “In general, with our systems we provide a really open network that can connect with any hospital network. It can be split off into multiple data decks in a very easy way to extend into the hospital. That’s something we’ve done a lot the last couple years.”
Mobile companies also assure hospitals that their systems can export to a wide variety of PACS systems, though it’s important to double-check.
Larry Siebs, president/CEO of Shared Imaging, says that customers sometimes have concerns about patient data security when his team wants to perform remote diagnostics on a piece of equipment in the trailer.
“The hospital is concerned that the data will be somehow leaked out in some way, but when you look at the remote diagnostic capabilities, all patient data is stripped out of that,” says Siebs.
Pat Buchholz, vice president of Shared Medical Services, conﬁrms that many customers ask about patient data security.