Get the most life out of your portable X-ray

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | February 27, 2014
From the January/February 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Portable X-rays are more likely to kick the bucket sooner than other machines due to the fact that they’re often dropped during transportation or exposed to harsh temperatures. But the good news is that by following a few experts’ tips, your portable X-rays could have a much longer life.

Handle with care
Even though the employees do not buy the devices with their own money, they should still treat them like they do. “The techs who use these machines, don’t care about them and they thus beat them all to hell all the time,” says Leon Gugel with Metropolis International. “However, if a hospital can train and explain to their staff that if they can maintain their portables as if they bought it with their own money, they would of course take better care of their systems.”

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Another part of treating your portable X-rays with care is maintaining proper user responsibility standards. “Admin should have them “signed out” by a technologist so responsibility for any damage can be followed,” says Sal Aidone with Deccaid Services, Inc. “In-service classes should be given on proper use and care of this equipment, especially DR mobiles.”

Avoiding problems
Abiding by a strict schedule and reporting defects immediately will ensure that you are aware of any issues before they become dire. “Maintain a strict PM schedule, orientation of both technologists and bio-med engineers in the proper care and operation of the equipment in question, have operators of the equipment report on a timely basis any malfunction or change in technique to service before problem becomes very serious,” says Ted Schenk of Rainbow Medical.

Harsh temperatures can really do a number on these devices so making sure to store them in the right conditions is vital. “Remember that electronics are sensitive to temperature conditions, so do your best to store equipment in a conditioned space when not in use, particularly in summer and winter months where temperature swings are greatest and try to allow equipment to acclimate to ambient conditions prior to making radiographic exposures,” says Ron Viola with First Source Inc.

Look to the future
When purchasing your portable X-ray, it’s important to purchase from a company that is future-minded. “Partner with a company that is built for today’s and tomorrow’s technology,” says Robert Muzzio with GXC Imaging. “The smaller companies are not building their infrastructure for today and tomorrow.”

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