Buying an ultrasound? Points To Ponder Before Purchasing
1. The size of the room where the ultrasound equipment will reside.
This is important for safety of the patients, visitors and staff. A room that is too small will result in contact injuries and increased heat production. Excessive heat is always detrimental to the systems, staff and patients. It is best to have dedicated thermostats in each ultrasound room to provide the best temperature control. It is better to have too large a room than too small. Please consider other furniture that must be in the room as well. This will also result in injuries to the equipment. These types of injuries to the machines or transducers may void service contracts and warranties.
2. Where will electrical outlets be located relative to the position of the scanning table, patient and visitor traffic and what type of electrical outlet do you need?
In a surgical environment the iPad style machines may be attached to a wall and positioned at about eye level. Plugs will need to be up higher. This prevents proper electrical cord management and eliminates tripping injuries or damage to the ultrasound power cord.
For the console systems you may need a dedicated, grounded electrical line. In hospitals it is a good idea to double check this to prevent frequent shut downs of computers and other life saving equipment. Again proximity of the electrical outlets to the ultrasound machine and the patient is optimal for safety. These should be placed down lower, rather that higher. Some hospitals and other institutions have strips above the patient bed. There have been many mishaps that occur when the Doctor or the Sonographer has to reach up and over the patient to plug in the machine.
In general you want the wall plug to be placed in such a way to promote safety of the staff, visitors and patients. Plus the ultrasound cord needs to be in pristine working order to keep the machine functioning well.
3. Please consider the weather.
This may seem like common sense but think about what happens to a machine with frequent power outages. This can result in severe damage to the internal components of the machine. It is recommended that in places with frequent power problems to purchase a UPS system that the ultrasound machine plugs into. The smaller the ultrasound machine, the less expensive the UPS will be. Ultrasound equipment is a capital purchase and needs to be protected. USM recommends turning the systems off and unplugging the machine when not in use for long periods of time.
4. Consider the lighting.
Ultrasound is best visualized in a dark room. Therefore it is best to have a room with no windows. This standardizes the light. If there are windows, then blackout window treatments are the best option. Overhead light is best to preserve the eyesight of the staff. We advise this to prevent the onset of Light Refractive Disorder. The lights are optimal when there is a dimmer switch. Dimmer switches are inexpensive and easy to install. This also allows for increasing the light for any invasive procedures that may need to be performed. In environments like an operating room where very bright lights must be on at all times, then the monitor contrast and brightness may need to be adjusted. The overall gain may also need to be adjusted for this situation.
5. Think about sources of Electro Magnetic Interference
These are things that will affect image quality in unusual way. Most of the time we do not think of these objects as causing issues in our images but they do have a bearing on them. Sometimes these artifacts look like vertical lines and other times they result in unclear images. Here is the list microwaves, bone saws, surgical equipment, power lines, power towers, certain gel warmers, MRI systems, x-ray equipment and radio equipment. Please evaluate the need to extra insulation in the ultrasound room and the proximity to other equipment.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ABOVE ISSUES PLEASE CALL US 843-566-1020.