More bang for your buck: C-Arm

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 01, 2014
From the April 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Even though, for the most part, C-arms are durable and can withstand the hectic hospital environment, they are still very sophisticated, expensive pieces of equipment and should be treated as such. HCBN spoke with four industry professionals who shared their insight about how to get the most out of these pricey machines.

Get regular preventative maintenance. In a blog post, Chris Sharrock at Block Imaging International says it’s the best way to preserve good image quality and prevent small problems from becoming big ones. He advises that you make sure your engineer changes clock and memory batteries both in the workstation and C-arm. Also, evaluate cables, brakes, wheels and mechanical assemblies.

Education is crucial. “As far as educating faculty or techs, it’s a good idea to have a radiologist, or a radiological or health physicist train the staff,” says Stuart Egles with Atlantis Worldwide.

Charge those batteries. Battery life can be extended if you keep your batteries charged by plugging in the unit when it’s not in use. “Properly charged batteries are necessary for sharp images during some studies and techniques,” says Castle medical Solutions’ Joe DeJohn. However, you don’t have to overdue it. If a unit is used four to five times a week, there’s no need to keep it plugged in overnight because doing so just for the weekends will be enough.

Keep it clean. “It is an easy thing to do on a regular basis, but, also easy to avoid or just not think about,” says DeJohn. The fan filters are particularly important because dust piles there and can lead to a series of electrical issues.

Don’t have lead feet. Make sure that the surgeons aren’t pressing on the fluoroscopy button too much because they may burn through the phosphor in the image intensifier. “This is the one part that will cost you an arm and a leg to replace,” says Leon Gugel of Metropolis Worldwide.

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