What questions to ask when buying a new ultrasound machine?

 

Steve. Ramsey,PhD. MSc,RMSKS, ARDMS, CRVS, CRGS, ACMDTT, AUP

Steve. Ramsey, Ph.D. MSc, RMSKS , ARDMS, CRVS, CRGS, ACMDTT, AUP

I can train your sonographers/radiologists the MSK- hands-on Sonography

What questions to ask when buying a new ultrasound machine or trying to write a report to your supervisor regarding any ultrasound machines?

 Let say the machine is Mindray- Resona 7,so you will put the name the name of the ultrasound machine on your report as Mindray – Resona 7 ultrasound Machine , If you don’t have a chance to work with it and other tech did the work on the machine and you have to submit the report, you can say ;

1-The supervisor and other sonographers worked with it and tested it with the obs, Gyn abdominal, And some Msk and small parts etc.

2-Please make sure to ask them for the feedback as I didn’t have time to test the machine due to busy full day’s work. Plus I know the manager of the company, so it will be a conflict of interest to get involved.

3- Those that will use this machine should get involved with the testing of any new ultrasound machines, and then give the report to the ultrasound supervisor then to the manager.

4-The best thing before buying an ultrasound machine is to ask those clinics that used it and check the reviews.

5- This machine is focused on OBS/Gyn work with all the smart obs, smart pelvic and smart IQ knobs but it is a changeling when doing a large patient.

6- Those who used it said that the machine is not good for large MSK work, large shoulder us etc. Note that almost 75 % of our patient’s population are large individuals. You also have to ask them about the service, where the service tech and engineers are located if you need them to fix something in the same day as that was the downfalls for so many ultrasound machines in the past. And how much the warranty will cost you and what it will cover?

5- You have to find what you want in a machine as some are good for cardio and vascular, some good for obs-Gyn and some good for MSK. Do you need them stationary or portable? Does the machine upgrade and do they have a wide range of transducers?

6-Remember nowadays there is a trade war around the world so make sure that if you need a spare part, ask who sell it and where? Is it in China, the USA or Europe and what is the extra coast of tariff?

7- You should look for the machine warranty length and coverage, what they cover and what they don’t, and why?

8- Ask for the battery backup and any troubleshooting booklets and service who can fix the machine in short notice on the same day.

9- Ask for free training and installation, ultrasound companies can bring the machines on weekends and Pay the sonographers who will check them out and make sure to have one case for one hour ,90 minutes ; OBS 90 MIN to check alongside the application specialist, 1 hour for abdominal and any small parts, one hour for Abd, one hour for vascular, 2 hours for some MSK large and medium size patients

10 This machine tilting, control panel locks are OK.

11- The machine Ergonomics is very good as it has 6 directional floating control panels with electronic height adjustments to scan in any position and tilting multi-touch screen. Gel warmer, light transducer central and swivel locks.

12 -Ask the application specialist if this machine able to do pediatrics ultrasound such as cranial us, hips us and spine us. Does this machine have the adult hip package such as alpha and beta angle, percentage stenosis etc?

13- Ask for the storage capacity, automatic clock time change, wide range view, extended scan for Msk use.

14- This machine is good for Elastography, ask them what is the benefits for a male breast.

15- The machine has the technology for smart 3d/4d smart face, smart heart imagine, but we don’t use ¾ D here and we are limited in the OBS us, This machine is excellent for NT exam, fetal face and heart with the smart planes.

16 -This machine is good for thin patients when doing contrast imaging, zone smart imaging.

17 -Ask the application specialist to show the sonographers the usage for carotids us and IMT measurements.

18- Ask them for the color windows such as -Angio- power, PW Doppler, ADF and CDI and Harmonics colors), compounding imaging and the Cini lobes ability in pro and retro action.

19- How the patient’s record kept, pulled and shown on the image, does the image also show the TI- Thermal index and MI -Mechanical indexes that are required by the college for any inspection?

20- Technical support / system updates; make sure that both are in the contract and discuss all the what, when who and where about every service from the soft and hard wears such as Monitor, upper controls, panel, power supplies, casters, keyboards, keys, and buttons are ready in short notice to change as they are expansive and some take 3 months to arrive from Japan or other countries.

21- Ask them about the needle biopsy? And other procedures upgrade for transducers use for biopsy.

22-Can the machine correct the problem and bring the image to the standard images that you are using with your ultrasound machines? If you are not sure, ask how to contact the expert and the service engineer and are they ready to help you by phone or on site.

23- To reduce conflict of interests and get actual technological science facts about the machine weakness before the strength ask the manager, owner, and application specialist to present the ultrasound machine and do not ask the sonographer what you think every 20 minutes or to make any sale pitch and push.

Let the application specialist show the sonographers how it works, and answer the sonographers questions only, then ask the sonographers who use the machine to write a small report and pass it to the supervisor or the manager ,focusing only on facts and on the exam they done covering ; A the type of the exam B- The size of the patient ( lager, medium ,small), the date of the exam, the time and how long you have to do the exam, what you don’t like about the image, the contrast, the gray shades, definitions, color scale, etc.

Each ultrasound machine is different in application and use, in size and price, so your budget also needs to be considered.

For more articles please go to my blog at www.moleopedia.com

For those who want to pass the SPI ultrasound physics, ob/gyn, abdominal, cardio and vascular exam you can email me regarding any file each come with 2000 questions and answers to fit the national exam guideline for small fees and you can save lots of money and time to pass your exam.

Steve Ramsey, PhD.- Calgary – Alberta

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