What To Buy?
Now that you know a little bit about the capacities of different C-arm components, and the appropriateness of particular technologies to individual specialties, you are ready to determine which C-arm you wish to acquire, and under what terms.
The wide installed base of existing C-arms ensures that there is always a healthy market of refurbished machines available alongside to compliment the various new models introduced to the market every year. In addition, some facilities now find it more economically feasible to rent or lease C-arms, as this provides added flexibility with regards to rapidly accelerating technology. Such leased units frequently find their way back into the refurbished market at a significant discount below their original price-tag.
Once you’ve determined which type of C-arm you require, the next step is to find a good place to acquire it. While purchase of a brand new machine can be costly, it is considerably simpler than the process required to obtain a valuable C-arm asset through a refurbishment program. That process is outlined here, in order to provide the reader with valuable knowledge that will also inform the decisions involved in purchasing brand new C-arms.
The first pillar of good purchasing is vendor research. The basic principle of vendor research is: Ask Everything.
There is no question you should leave unanswered. Competent vendor will be able to comfortably answer any questions you have, while those who are unable to talk emphatically about the features important to your buying decision don’t deserve your time of day.
Of primary concern when dealing with a refurbished equipment supplier is their own refurbishment process. Ask for verifiable documentation of the steps they take. ISO certification demands that this be a document which they have on hand, but uncertified vendors should also be capable of producing such a work manifest.
Common understanding dictates that a qualified refurbishment program should include each of the following steps::
Evaluation: This step involves examining the C-Arm’s regular functioning, compiling a list of the components which must be repaired or replaced. Common evaluation practice includes a Piranha radiation-quality assessment, confirmations of the tube, image intensifier and image save functionality; as well as general and tube performance, ABS, and resolution testing.
Decontamination: This step involves the removal of any potential biohazards. It should involve internal and external cleaning with complete removal of the exterior equipment housing. A wide-spectrum decontamination should be performed, and all data-storing devices in the C-arm should be wiped and formatted to remove any residual patient data, in accordance with HIPAA directive.
Reconditioning: This step involves restoring the original look of the device’s body to its original state. It calls for the equipment housing covers removed during decontamination to be prepped for painting, with all dents and scratches removed. All parts of the device should be completely repainted, with and new decals, key pad overlays and logos placed as per specifications from the manufacturer. .
Repair & Replace: This step involves functional resetting of the C-arm device. All damaged components identified in the Evaluation need to be repaired or replaced. New monitors and batteries should be installed, and new replacement parts used for any damaged damaged high voltage cables, brake pads, foam seals, switches, connectors, breakers, fuses or wheels.
Calibration: This step should be performed prior to delivery of the newly-reconditioned device. It is designed to to ensure that C-Arm is performing correctly. A thorough technical calibration should include dose adjustment, beam alignment, vertical column, power supply, steering, locks, handles, collimator, battery charger, video system and the bearings for the arm itself.
What To Buy?