Medical facilities looking into purchasing Linear Accelerator equipment should budget between one million to upwards of five million dollars. On top of the cost of radiotherapy equipment also comes with the expense of simulators, treatment planning coordinators, treatment room, machine operating costs, and the salary costs of the radiographers and physicists. The overall expense is nothing to joke about; whether you are planning to install new equipment, replacing equipment or repairing an existing Linear Accelerator you will want to ensure the purchase stays on track.
Prepare, Plan, Propose
In can take anywhere between six months and eight years from start to finish when it comes to the acquisition of new radiotherapy equipment. Projects span a duration that varies between facilities. The first determination is in regards to the type of cases and the technology that is needed to treat patients. Are you considering new construction or renovating an existing location? New construction requires local permits, specific room requirements, electrical power and a water supply. When renovating a room other issues arise such as room size and the location of isocenter as well as shielding.
Plan for milestones such as the vault completion date, equipment testing and acceptance date, when will vendors and IT techs be able to connect your equipment? When planning for contractors beyond your control work in a margin of error. It will decrease the number of uncertainties that are beyond your control and possible holdups. When the clinical issues are decided upon the next step is to come up with a budget for acquiring the equipment and the additional expenses that are expected.
Hire, Educate, Train
It is crucial to have a team of experts on your side when it comes to the acquisition of any new piece of equipment specifically Linear Accelerators. Experts that are hired on as an expert representing your team should include vault designers, construction firms, equipment suppliers, IT integration and support specialists, and a proven implementation team. When installing new, used, or refurbished Linear Accelerators speak to vendor references before settling on a team of experts. Choose a Linear Accelerator vendor that understands software, hardware, and the clinical flow. A relationship with a supplier that also offers refurbished parts for repairing equipment is especially beneficial to any organization.
Commit To Quality
No matter if a new, used or refurbished piece of equipment is purchased there is a three step process to consider. Review service history and major service events, machine utilization and an actual physical inspection. When equipment is refurbished it consists of both cosmetic and mechanical updates. New technology is crucial and mechanical refurbishment helps to protect against outdated parts and accessories. The installation team needs to comprehend all aspects of installation from hardware, software to manufacturer’s acceptance testing procedures.
When purchasing any new medical equipment the transition between purchase, installation and service needs to be seamless; expect a long term relationship between the supplier and facility.