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New imaging installs rally as budgets recover from pandemic punch

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | June 07, 2021
From the June 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


At the height of the epidemic, it could take up to three months to get a new piece of equipment loaded onto a boat for transport to the U.S. from Europe or Asia, said Shelby Lemler, executive vice president of operations, MXR Imaging.

Shelby Lemler
“Covid has been a roller-coaster,” said Lemler. “I think we’ll continue to see some effects on the supply line through 2021. But hospitals are getting a handle on their budget outlooks, and I believe they will feel more comfortable moving forward this year."

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In the U.S., slowdowns were most pronounced during the first few months of the shutdown and during the period where elective procedures ceased. “Since then, we have slowly been working our way back up to normal installation volumes and are hiring technicians again in multiple locations across the U.S.," reported Senne.

Large metro, urban hospitals especially felt the stress of the pandemic, according to Luai Tabbal, director, service technical operations at Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. Such sites were more likely to request a delay or postponement as they struggled with the onslaught of Covid patients. He also reported "less feet on the street", regarding installers to perform site work.

“Full PPE equipment is a tough situation for our crews to operate in,” he said. “Even more than usual, deinstallations and installations required careful planning; we had to double down on internal and external communications.”

Fortunately, deinstalling and installing medical imaging equipment was considered an essential function during the pandemic. Richard Hart, area service manager Western Region, Alpha Source Group, recalls flying into Chicago for a project. He was asked for an essential worker letter at the rental car counter. Fortunately, Hart had such a document from his CEO. Otherwise, he would have to self-quarantine in a hotel for 14 days.

MXR Imaging postions a new imaging device through a foundation.
Planning your own logistical jobs

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