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Tips for navigating the digital radiography market

From the November 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

By Julie Johnson

One of the primary focuses in the digital radiography market over the past several years has been converting from computed to digital radiography by purchasing digital retrofits.
This was a response to the 2017 computed radiography (CR) legislation, which affected reimbursement rates. While the retrofit space is still a very busy market segment, the rush is slowing down, and MD Buyline is beginning to see a shift in purchasing trends. Within the past several quarters customer interest has been returning to replacement of older equipment, and purchase of new digital radiography systems is ramping up.

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When considering any digital radiography purchase it’s important to understand your organization’s long-term goals and the relationship you want to develop with the vendor. Many MD Buyline customers are not only in the market to purchase digital radiography equipment but are also considering vendors that can provide a long-term partnership and sole-source their entire fleet of imaging equipment. This includes other modalities such as CT, MR, cath lab, mammography and ultrasound.

Health systems of varying sizes are inquiring about replacing their existing system lineup with a single-source vendor that can standardize their imaging departments, including interfaces and software, while also providing reliable service and applications support on the back end. One issue to consider with a sole-source agreement is that your chosen vendor may not be able to supply all the necessary equipment, and your facility may have to compromise by purchasing certain modalities from a second vendor. However, the potential long-term savings benefit that comes with bundling often outweighs that concern for many radiology departments.

An important factor in selecting a digital radiography system is to ensure the configuration is best suited to the size and scope of your facility. For larger facilities with higher volumes, the ideal may be a more highly configured system with features such as auto-positioning and auto-tracking capable of reducing exam times, thereby allowing for faster throughput. These systems are typically paired with a 14x17 detector with a fixed 17x17 in the wall bucky, or smaller 10x12 or 8x10 for orthopedic and pediatric exams. Overhead mounted configurations have traditionally been the preference, but activity for floor-mounted systems has also been strong, as customers are looking to reduce construction costs and often have limited space.
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