When healthcare professionals decide to open their own medical imaging practice or diagnostic imaging center, there can be many unknowns and a complex web of things to carefully consider prior to opening.
Many frequent obstacles and hazards of starting a private practice will be avoided with great planning and organizational strategies in place. By doing this, a firm foundation can be established that will ensure the basis of a profitable and resilient business.
Read on below for our top considerations when planning a medical imaging facility.
As the old saying goes, it’s all about “location, location, location!”. You need to consider the physical location of your practice and its relation to nearby physicians, communities, and competing providers. Keep in mind that a doctor often advises patients to undergo a particular testing at an imaging facility, so being close to these physicians makes it much more convenient for people to select your facility over others. It must be user-friendly and easily accessible for the patients – ideally near main throughways with convenient parking.
You’ll want to consider how the building you choose makes patients feel. Does it look modern? Does it need to be renovated – how does that affect your budget?. Is it spacious enough for both people and equipment or does it feel cramped and claustrophobic? Is it standalone or will you have to deal with neighbors and potential noise and foot traffic issues?
Make sure the space is welcoming, kept clean, and inviting. All these choices will ensure a positive reputation and potentially even referral business.
Design & Layout
In order to ensure efficient planning and design of the facility you must take into account workflow, patient comfort, and prerequisites necessary for installation of the imaging equipment, which requires the engineering expertise of medical imaging professionals.
The location of each modality should be planned beforehand. The layout of the room should show the locations of electrical supply points, doors that are large enough for patients to enter safely, medical gas outlets, HVAC, and other features. Keep in mind these key items which a trusted imaging equipment provider like NIS can help you plan:
Electricity; a backup power source, such as a diesel generator or a continuous power source; proper earthing; a room layout with enough shielding and wall thickness, particularly for equipment that emits ionizing radiation; weight-bearing capability for devices installed on the floor or the ceiling; control of humidity and temperature with proper amount properly placed air conditioning ducts; adequate illumination in the area; emergency off switch.
Not taking these precautions could result in fines or even worse – accidents. Furthermore, if you are performing construction to make room for a particular device, you will need to work with the city or county to get approvals or permits to perform the construction. Not doing so may result in more fines and delays in opening.
It’s extremely important to seek out professionals with extensive experience in moving, planning, and coordinating the complicated aspects of diagnostic imaging centers. For more in depth radiology room requirements, contact your NIS sales associate.
Please understand that the modalities that need to be installed are typically very large and very heavy, making them extremely awkward or even dangerous to move without the help of professionals. If they are too large to fit through doorways, particularly for the MRI, the exterior wall of the building will frequently need to be taken down.
Sometimes, doors may need to be removed temporarily or other machines in the facility rearranged to accommodate new equipment. After installation, walls need to be reinstalled and relined with protective film.
Like any other business endeavor, there are just as many potential pitfalls as there are opportunities for success. We implore you to carefully plan out the entire process with a trusted partner and to not skip steps in an effort to open sooner than necessary.
At NIS, we are here to help you through this entire process from start to finish including planning, financing, installation or uninstallation, and ongoing maintenance. Get in touch with us to start planning your facility here.