5 Strategic Methods To Deal With Hospital Budget Cuts Without Downsizing Services

5 Strategic Methods To Deal With Hospital Budget Cuts Without Downsizing Services

When the economy is booming, hospitals and healthcare organizations can struggle to meet demand. But when times are tight, it’s even more difficult to keep up with rising costs—especially when trying to minimize your facility’s downsizing efforts. 


Let us help you find the perfect solution for your mobile medical imaging needs. Call us today at (844) 949-1664 or email us at info@catalinaimaging.com to learn how we can help your practice.


5 Strategic Methods To Deal With Hospital Budget Cuts Without Downsizing Services

Many facilities are forced to make cuts to remain profitable and competitive. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can save money without sacrificing services or causing harm to your patient’s well-being. Here are five strategies for dealing with budget cuts without downsizing services.


Revise current budget allocations

You should start by looking at where you’re spending your money. Are there certain areas that are getting more funds than they should? Is there an area that has seen a decline in funds but is still as important as before?


Looking at previous years’ budgets alongside the current proposed budget can determine the best financial decision. For example, suppose last year there were only two nurses for the entire hospital, and now this year, there are four nurses for the same number of patients. In that case, one thing is clear: Your allocation has shifted from paying for employee salaries to other items like rent or utilities.


Obviously, cutting back on employee salaries would not be ideal. However, what matters most is making sure services remain available—with fewer staff members available at any given time during peak hours when demand is highest, and resources are scarce.


Negotiate with vendors

Your hospital could benefit from a deeper look at the prices of its most common purchases and services. Negotiating can lead to discounts, incentives, and other perks to help keep your budget in check.


If you’re spending too much on medical supplies, consider switching to alternative suppliers offering lower prices on similar products or services.


There’s no reason to pay for manual processes like filing or copying documents in the digital age. Consider investing in software that automates these tasks, saving you both time and money while reducing the likelihood of human error.


Audit resources and software

In the first step, you should audit your software and IT infrastructure. It’s important to know what kind of technology is available to help maximize your hospital’s efficiency.


That also means that you should audit medical equipment and supplies. It may be time for replacement purchases if anything is out of date or nearing its expiration date.


Thirdly, it’s important to audit personnel. An employee who has been with the company for years may be better suited for a different task than one who just started two months ago. Evaluating each person’s abilities can ensure that everyone is put into roles where they can excel. 


Finally, space must be analyzed as well—areas such as beds and rooms need regular cleaning because germs spread quickly in hospitals! Ensuring that all of these things are up-to-date will help keep costs down while still providing excellent care for patients


Coordinate with other facilities

Many hospitals have multiple locations; some even serve as a region’s primary care provider. Take advantage of this if you’re an administrator responsible for more than one facility. 


By coordinating between these locations, you can easily eliminate duplicate services and use resources more efficiently. For example, share staff members or equipment between facilities when possible.


You may also outsource some services to other providers or vendors who specialize in those areas of expertise. You don’t have to handle every department from top to bottom (and pay for it). 


When choosing how much work to keep internal versus outsourcing or farming out entirely (which comes with its own set of risks), consider which skill sets are most critical for success at your organization. Then focus on those areas before considering additional outsourcing options like hiring contractors or freelancers over full-time employees if necessary.


Rent out equipment that you don’t often use

It’s a great way to make extra cash and get more out of the items. If you have any spare machines or tools, you can start renting them out to other hospitals. That will help your hospital earn money while also giving other hospitals access to better equipment than they might be able to afford.


There are many different types of equipment that can be rented out, but some examples include the following:


  • MRI machines
  • CT scanners
  • Operating room tables (OR)



With the right strategies in place, you can keep your hospital operating at capacity while saving money. There are plenty of ways to approach budget cuts and make them work for your facility. The key is being proactive and thinking outside the box!


If you’re looking for a mobile medical imaging solution that will help you feel supported and give you confidence in your diagnosis and treatment—then Catalina Imaging is here for you! For more information, contact us today at info@catalinaimaging.com or call us at (844) 949-1664!

Who can perform a CT scan?

Who can perform a CT scan?

Computer tomography or CT scan is one of the most commonly performed medical imaging examinations to date. But as with any diagnostic test, it requires a team effort. In a nutshell, this team comprises a radiologist (they head the patient care team), nurses and CT technologists. 


For radiologists and hospital/medical facility managers looking for a reputable mobile CT scan rental provider, visit Catalina Imaging to learn more about our service. You can also fill out this contact form if you have any questions or requests. 


The CT scan team


They are physicians with specialist training (either residency or fellowship) who are often board certified. After obtaining their doctor of osteopathy degree or medical doctorate, they undergo additional training required by the American Board of Radiology. 


The additional training includes the use and interpretation of CT images and the safety standards and protocols, allowing them to interpret the results and send a detailed report to the referring physician.


These are the other tasks performed by radiologists: 

  • Administer or oversee the contrast injection
  • Perform CT-guided biopsy procedures and other similar interventions
  • Review the information gathered from the imaging procedure
  • Communicate the results to physicians and patients 


CT technologists 

They are specially trained to operate modern CT systems and typically receive two or more years of training in computed tomography and X-ray before they obtain their certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or ARRT. 


CT technologists also perform patient examinations under the supervision of a radiologist and administer the contrast injection if required. 


Radiology nurses

They are registered or enrolled nurses who care for all patients in the radiology department (either in a hospital or a private radiology practice). 


Radiology nurses routinely check IVs, monitor vital signs, administer medications and help patients with their personal needs.  


Catalina Imaging: Who We Are

At Catalina Imaging, the CT scanners we use in our trailers are from reputable tech companies like Toshiba, Siemens, and GE. Read more about the models we offer to our partner hospitals and medical facilities. 


We also have multiple service and storage locations in California, Minnesota, North Carolina and Illinois. You can read more about our mobile CT rental here

Ways to promote a smooth workflow in your CT scan department

Ways to promote a smooth workflow in your CT scan department

For hospital or diagnostic imaging managers, one of the critical indicators of success is a smooth department workflow in which the patients are happy, the uptime is impressive, and all the stakeholders are efficient and stress-free (or at least most of the time). 


At Catalina Imaging, we have a large fleet of mobile CT scan rental trailers for hospitals and clinics that need CT scans from reputable tech companies like Toshiba, Siemens, and GE.  

Create an environment where everyone is accountable 

If you want your department to be efficient and patient-centered, the most important thing you need to do is create a system where everyone is accountable for their job. For instance, you need to designate people who will be responsible for ensuring that the patients are reminded a day or two before their scheduled test or a staff who will focus on taking a quick consulting call from a physician.


Listen to the stakeholders’ feedback

If you’re having problems like high employee turnover rate, high number of patient “no-shows” downtime, delays, etc., you need to meet with your team and ask for their feedback. 


Perhaps you need to add hours to accommodate the growing number of patients? Or maybe improve customer service and communications? Whatever it is, listening to your staff’s input shows that their welfare and opinion matter to you. 

Provide customer support training

Everyone in the team should know how to handle customer complaints and concerns, which is why you need to provide customer service training. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive; just a basic set of communication skills like saying, “I can help you find someone who can address your problem,” rather than telling a patient, “I can’t help you.”


Create an efficient system to avoid long waits

Long waits reduce patient satisfaction and affect your reputation and productivity. As a result, you need to adopt these strategies to avoid this issue: 

  • Frequent and transparent communications between patients and staff. For instance, someone should remind the patients a week, one day and a few hours before their scheduled CT scan. In short, transparency and excellent communications can go a long way. 
  • Speed up service time.
  • Implement a queue management system (in-location and even virtual queue if possible). 
  • Utilize queue data to optimize staffing. 


Reliability and Customer Service Key to Injector Uptime and CT Department Workflow

At Catalina Imaging, we have a large fleet of mobile CT scanners for clinics and hospitals looking for CT rentals with state-of-the-art technologies from Toshiba, Siemens, and GE. Visit our website and leave a message to learn more about our CT rental services in California, North Carolina, Illinois and Minnesota. 

How to improve your patient no-show in the imaging department

How to improve your patient no-show in the imaging department

The imaging department has one of the highest patient no-show and reschedule rates, with one study suggesting that it could be as high as 35%. Meanwhile, failure to keep it under control can lead to a wide range of issues, from lost revenue and delayed patient care to underutilized staff and resources. 


If your hospital or medical facility is dealing with high patient no-show and reschedule rates, you need to know the reason behind this trend. But to give you an idea, there are common denominators that mobile CT scanners rental fleet provider Catalina Imaging has noticed: 

  • Financial anxiety 
  • Lack of communication between the patients and their doctors 
  • Failure to understand the procedure instructions 
  • Lack of transportation
  • Incomplete pre-authorization requirements 


Knowing the reasons for patient no-show is critical for creating policies and measures to reduce this costly problem that the radiology departments usually face.


How to reduce patient no-show 

As an industry leader with more than 50 years of combined experience in maintaining a mobile imaging rental fleet, Catalina Imaging has come up with this list of tried-and-tested recommendations.


Create an effective patient reminder system 

  • Ask your patients about their preferred method of reminders (e.g., email, text, and call).
  • Set up automatic reminders one week before the scheduled procedure, two days before, and one hour before the appointment. But for appointments that are scheduled more than eight weeks in advance, additional reminders become even more critical to reduce patient no-show rates. 
  • Allow patients to reschedule their appointments to fill the vacant spot and avoid underutilized resources and staff. 


Follow a streamlined pre-authorization process

  • Ideally, there should be a team that is responsible for imaging pre-authorization. 
  • Train this team and teach each member to have a sense of accountability. 
  • Create a system that immediately resolves pre-authorization delays and makes it easy for patients to reschedule their appointments. 


Promote constant communication with patients 

  • Ask patients or have them answer a survey to know their preferred method of communication. The idea here is to meet them where they are. 
  • If the language barrier is an issue, schedulers should mention that in the patient records. 
  • Create electronic medical records that your patients can access independently. 
  • Staff should explain the prep instructions and ask the patients about their concerns (finance-related, length of procedure, etc.)


Streamline your collection system

  • Ideally, require partial payment early on to increase the likelihood of full patient obligation. 
  • Be transparent with the prices so the patients will know the price estimates and prepare for them. 


Provide transport service 

  • Surveys have shown that transport barriers cause a significant number of patient no-shows.
  • Offer transportation services or partner with ride-sharing service providers. 
  • After implementing any of the measures mentioned above, continue tracking the no-show rates to assess whether they are effective or not.


Solving the Dilemma Created by the No-Show Patient

When your patients don’t show up for appointments, it extends your waiting list and wastes your resources (especially staffing). For this reason, you need to implement measures that limit the number of no-shows and reschedules. 


Another way hospitals and medical facilities can maximize their resources and avoid revenue loss is to partner with a reliable mobile CT scan rental fleet provider. At Catalina Imaging, we not just provide technical insights but also 24/7 customer support for service emergencies and full-service OEM contracts between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday (except holidays). 


To learn more about how our mobile imaging fleet can meet your short- and long-term needs, contact us here. You can also text or call us at (844) 949-1664 or email us at info@catalinaimaging.com

The Importance of Ongoing CT Applications Training

The Importance of Ongoing CT Applications Training | blog article by Catalina Imaging

Since the development of Computerized Tomography (CT) in 1972, CT has always been a software-driven imaging modality. 

Medical imaging equipment manufacturers such as GE, Siemens, Philips, Hitachi, and Toshiba/Canon have all developed vendor-specific software platforms along with manufacture specific terminology and technology which must be mastered in order to operate the systems effectively and safely for both the patient and operator.

The difference in the vendor-specific terminology is confusing to most newer CT Technologists, as well as the difference in software and hardware.

The issues arise with the way CT Imaging Technologists are trained to use the systems. Most technologists are trained by other technologists at the facility. Most were trained by someone else who had a varying degree of knowledge regarding proper system operation. 

This “Shoulder to Shoulder” style of training leads to incomplete training and a technologist who knows barely enough to get by. Training of this style can be a liability to the patient and the facility. 

Often times, the technologist doing the training will withhold information about a specific system operation so that they are perceived by management to be the “expert” and are of more value to a facility. This can hinder any exam from the basic to the more advanced procedures, frustrating many radiologists. This can lead to a catastrophe in an ‘on-call” situation when the ER has to wait for another technologist to come in because the one who is there is not well trained. 

Some of the lucky few technologists are chosen by a facility to attend the manufactures training facility. This initial training is then followed by a week or two of onsite training.

Onsite training is meant to adapt the system to the customer’s facility and assure proper system function and acceptable image quality with the radiologist.

The same technologist who went to the training academy should also be attending the subsequent weeks of OEM training to further their knowledge of system operation. 

Training which should include not only scan protocol building and basic patient scanning but the advanced procedures and software applications applicable to the system purchased by the facility. 

This could include Cardiac Angiography and Function Analysis, Digital Subtraction Software, Brain Perfusion and Dual Energy imaging techniques and CT Fluoroscopy to mention a few. 

Since some of the advanced applications require additional training, manufacturers sometimes provide a course at their training facility. However not all clinical applications can be taught effectively at a training facility without actual patients to scan, for example CT Flouro, CT Angiography, Cardiac, Brain Perfusion, and Dual Energy.

For onsite training, patients are required for the exams and may be in very limited supply. Often times, facility budget and time constraints leave the staff as a group of “Button Pushers”, and not well trained. Staff duties should be delegated so as to allow for the full training experience. If not, then the outcome is that not everyone is trained to the same level of expertise.

Staff will leave one facility for a better position, better pay, better hours, better training or a better location, taking the knowledge, and sometimes the training materials given to them for the site, with them. This can also leave a facility with a system that is not being utilized to its fullest potential.

Staff technologists who are well trained are happier on the job. They have the respect of their peers, administration, staff physicians, and patients. 

By contrast, those with a lack of training are often classified as button pushers, doing nothing but the most routine scanning having to call in a more experienced technologist to complete the challenging studies, CTA, Cardiac CTA, Perfusion. 

This leads to a delay in diagnosis and service to a patient. Technologists often get into the same rut at a facility because the equipment is used past its prime and often not replaced with state of the art systems that have more capability, lower patient exposure, and better image quality with advanced imaging protocols. 

These are the staff who leave a facility, for better working conditions, training and pay. Proper applications training will lead to a happier and more productive staff with less turnover, especially with older systems and an untrained staff.

There are many pros to ongoing applications training, some of which are more notable than others. A well-educated staff leads to more complete exams for the reading radiologist and reduces the chance that a patient will be recalled to evaluate a hepatic filling defect or to obtain a proper early arterial phase in a tri-phasic study to evaluate for metastatic disease, or a delay image for contrast filling defect not seen by the Technologist who should review images prior to completing an exam. 

This leads to an overall lower cost to the facility. Clinical Applications can review the staff’s operational workflow and offer recommendations for workflow enhancement so that the staff is working smarter and not harder. 

Clinical Applications can assure your staff is operating with best clinical practices, assist your reading radiologist with issues regarding image quality, patient exposure, contrast timing, and the development of new imaging protocols and techniques which make diagnosis more accurate. An Applications Specialists can act as a lesion between the CT staff, management, and the Radiologist ensuring an effective educational experience for all your staff.

I recommend that an imaging department budget include clinical applications on-site support at a minimum of every two years. This continuing support is necessary, not only for the CT technologists, but for the physicians and patients as well. 

This can be even more critical in a short term lease of imaging equipment, especially when the equipment is different from what the staff is currently using. 

Clinical applications support can train your staff answering all their questions regarding system operation, assist with building scanning protocols, train them with the latest imaging software upgrades and suggest workflow modifications to enhance department productivity and patient experience.

Clinical applications support can handle issues with the radiologist regarding missed contrast timing, image quality, and system artifacts which affect their experience with the system. 

This can improve transition time to a new system if the leased mobile is from the same OEM as a new system is installed, even though the software may be different or has more enhanced upgrades. At times you need a service engineer, at times your need applications support. They go hand in hand.

Here at Catalina Imaging, our goal is to create an experience that goes beyond your expectations, and applications support is just another way we can enhance that experience. Please feel free to contact us and see what we can do for you.

Learn more about Bob Phillips

How Much Does a Mobile CT Rental Cost?

How Much Does a Mobile CT Rental Cost? | blog article by Catalina Imaging

CT Scanners are a staple in any healthcare facility. It is essential to help diagnose a patient accurately. Simply put, Computerized Tomography scanning is necessary because:

  • They detect bone and joint problems
  • They spot cancer, heart disease, emphysema, liver mass
  • They show internal injuries and bleeding
  • They locate blood clots, excess fluid, infection, and/or tumors

The list goes on and on. And ideally, a healthcare facility should have a scanner or two, but not all may be able to afford their regular maintenance.

But there may be seasons of high demand, and so additional capacity, by means of mobile CT rentals, may be taken into consideration.

At a time like now when there is a COVID-19 pandemic — while the topic is a hot subject of debateCT scans may provide some assistance in the early detection or correct diagnosis of the condition. The matter is a double-edged sword, though, and medical professionals are still weighing the pros versus the cons.

How much will a Mobile CT Rental Cost?

When all reasons and factors have been considered, all you now need to know is the Cost of a Mobile CT Rental. Factors that will contribute are:

1. The length of the rent, if it will be monthly or annually
2. The capability of the machine. Depending on a given brand and the features built into a given CT machine.
Please email info@catalinaimaging or give us a call for a Mobile CT Quote

3. Aside from the rent, there are riders like:

  • The refundable security deposit
  • The transportation to and from your healthcare facility
  • The installation and de-installation fees
  • The cleaning and maintenance fees


It would be wise to study your contract very closely. In some cases, a lease may be the better option.

Why Rent a Mobile CT Machine?

There are a number of reasons why Mobile CT Rental may be the best choice for a healthcare facility. As mentioned earlier, there may be seasons of high demand, and the staple CT machine may not be enough to service all the patients.

Mobile CT Rental may be the best way to go if:

  1. There are renovations in your facility and the scanning may need to be done in a temporary space.
  2. The facility’s scanner is starting to show signs of wear and tear and you want to test a new scanner for a possible upgrade.
  3. If you are deciding whether or not to get another scanner for your facility and you want to see if two machines can be maximized.
  4. If your facility is used as a training or continuing education course and you need a machine for demonstration purposes without disrupting regular operations.
  5. If your facility needs to catch up on patient backlog especially at a time like now when there is a pandemic and further testing is necessary for some cases.
  6. In the case of a facility with multiple branches, a rented mobile CT can go from branch to branch on certain days of the week to help service patients.
  7. If you are not allowed to purchase a new machine but you can manage the rental fee in your operating budget.

Other Considerations for a Mobile CT Rental

Do not forget the importance of customer support. Choose a company that provides it 24/7; that provides added data for you; that provides insured equipment, and that offers training to your radiologists and technicians in the use of their machine.

Technology is not only updated but also state of the art. Get your money’s worth with Mobile CT Machines from GE, Toshiba, and Siemens.

Rent from Catalina Imaging

Ron Wright founded Catalina Imaging 30 years ago based on the principle of face-to-face customer contact. Understanding the urgency of maintaining equipment uptime was experienced firsthand. This experience is the foundation of Catalina Imaging today: personnel are familiar with the engineering and workings of our Mobile CT units.

Catalina Imaging also provides:

  1. Customized reliable equipment to support your clinical needs
  2. Customer support 24/7
  3. Affordability
  4. Site assistance, pre-planning, and set-up
  5. Transportation and on-time delivery
  6. Systems that meet OEM specifications or greater
  7. Equipment and trailer service maintenance
  8. Information such as current physicist surveys
  9. Trailers licensed through DOH
  10.  Fully insured equipment
  11.  Applications training (additional fees may apply)


We are there for you and with you in every step of the Mobile CT rental process, from planning your CT rental to the end of the lease. Delivery, set up, and maintenance of your Mobile CT units are not a problem because we are always there with you. We are also just a call away any time issues come up — and we mean it.

We go above and beyond simply delivering and maintaining your Mobile CT Units.



Related articles:


A Final Word

How much does a Mobile CT Rental cost? At the cost of saving a life, it is absolutely priceless. Rent from the company that will make sure you have all the support you need. Rent from Catalina Imaging.

Experience our Mobile CT Scanner right now inside our mobile imaging unit. We leave you with this video:

Advantages of Renting a CT Scanner (Instead of Buying One)

Advantages of Renting a CT Scanner | Catalina Imaging

For most people, buying a CT scanner has never crossed their minds. It is not an everyday tool casually used, like a coffee machine or a waffle maker. It is a highly sophisticated device that requires the expertise of the person who will operate it, and specific, controlled environments.

However, in very particular instances, having a CT scanner around is a smart choice. Smaller hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers need this machine to provide better and more comprehensive services.

CT or CA Computerized Tomography scan utilizes x-rays to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. It is operated by licensed radiographers. A CT scan is used to provide a comprehensive examination of the bodies’ internal organs.

It is especially helpful in determining damage to bones and internal organs, blood flow issues, and tumors. For years, it has been a crucial tool in diagnosing critical illnesses in patients.

Not a lot of people understand, however, the financial burden brought about by these massive pieces of machinery. Before, it is unthinkable for smaller healthcare companies to put up CT scan imaging procedures, but with the presence of rental companies, this is now possible.

There are many advantages to renting a mobile CT scanner. Let us have a rundown.

1. Minimal investment

As mentioned previously, purchasing a CT scanner is a significant financial burden. To smaller health institutions, the cost of investment will not be outweighed by the return. For instance, a local clinic that caters to a community of 100 families will have a hard time earning back the money invested on the scanner.

By renting a CT scanner, you share this financial responsibility with others. You get the benefits of having a scanner without having to pay the full amount for each. Through a rental scheme, you are not obligated to spend much more than what you need. If you only need to provide the imaging service for a specific period of time, you may do so by renting a CT scanner for a determined time frame.

2. Mobility

A mobile CT scanner is better than a traditional one in a lot of ways. The first and most apparent reason is its mobility. Conventional machines are bulky and usually attached to a permanent location. They are heavy machines that require a lot of manpower to move and transport.

A mobile CT scanner gives you ease in transportation while providing the same quality imaging procedure. It is quite literally the same machine on wheels. The computer tomography system is housed in a trailer on wheels that allows for its mobility. Mobile CT scanner can be in one local clinic today, then in a small hospital the next day. Its mobility allows more people to benefit from this medical advancement.

3. Easier installation

It is relatively easier to set up a mobile scanner. Upon the arrival of the machine, it is placed in a secure area and plugged in. After use, it can be simply unplugged and move into a location by technicians.

4. Testing

Testing CT scans before use is part of the standard operating procedure. However, testing once or twice does not guarantee a problem-free machine. With a rental CT scanner, it will not be the same case. Since the scanner is rented out to different entities, it undergoes actual use. It is tested in real-case scenarios, which proves efficacy and performance.

5. Lower maintenance cost

Because you can return the scanner once you are done using it or once your rental expires, the maintenance cost is almost non-existent. There is no need for the medical institution or the clinic to set up a particular imaging room and maintain it. Quality assurance staff and maintenance technicians need not be hired.

6. Better patient care

Aside from these benefits, having a CT scanner also improves the quality of medical care you can provide to your patients. With the presence of a CT scanner, you provide a higher degree of care and more accurate diagnoses. There is no need to refer your patients to other hospitals that offer the service.

A Final Word on The Advantages of Renting a Mobile CT Scanner

Renting makes it possible for smaller institutions and local clinics to compete with those far bigger than them.

In this day and age, nothing is more paramount than the preservation of life and health. With the advancement in medical technology, it becomes easier to detect and cure diseases. For any medical care provider, it is a priority to have the best machinery as much as possible.

If you think having a CT scanner is the right move for you, don’t hesitate to call us at (844) 949-1664. We will gladly assist you and answer your questions about our rental service.

Catalina imaging uses the best scanners available from GE, Toshiba, and Siemens. We are committed to providing quality service to medical care providers by ensuring the efficiency of our state-of-the-art machines at all times. Call us today to learn more.


Mobile CT Scanner Guide

Mobile Imaging Electrical Trailer Schematics

In this article, we combine our 50 years of combined experience as mobile imaging engineers with the feedback of thirteen radiology managers to provide you with the most thorough article available on renting a mobile CT scanner.

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See what the inside of a trailer looks like with this video:

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Why A Mobile CT Scanner?

Renting, leasing, or purchasing a mobile CT scanner can be an excellent interim solution for a variety of circumstances.

The most common call we receive is from the radiology department of a hospital or clinic whose CT machine has gone down. The following are additional situations where an interim solution is beneficial:

  • Building/department renovations
  • Testing a market
  • Low traffic at multiple locations
  • Research studies
  • Rural visitations
  • Avoiding large capital expenditures

What Does It Cost To Rent A  Mobile CT Scanner?

Please email info@catalinaimaging or give us a call for a Mobile CT Quote


Prices will vary depending on the quality of the unit, the make and model of the CT scanner, and whether you’ll be taken care of by an OEM service provider.

Quality Evaluation

The quality of the unit includes:

  • Age of the trailer encompassing the mobile imaging equipment
  • How well kept up the unit is (fixes, wear and tear, etc)
  • Aesthetics (Is it cold and bland or have the look and feel been considered?)
  • Comfortability (Is it a tight fit or does the layout allow patient and nurse to move around comfortably?)

The most common equipment manufacturers are Toshiba, GE, Philips, and Siemens. All offer different makes and models of mobile CT units.

Additionally, the unit in the trailer could have been acquired new or refurbished.

Toshiba Mobile CT Scanner
Above: Toshiba Aquilion 16 MultiSlice CT Scanner in a Mobile Trailer

A major deciding factor for the radiology managers we interviewed was the brand of the equipment. A hospital or clinic needs the interim CT scanner to tie into their existing technology.

Aligning technologies also makes training staff much easier since they will already be accustomed to the user interface and user experience the brand provides.

The third major component is who will be providing your ongoing service.

OEM Provider vs Third-Party Provider

As one of our study’s more experienced participants put it, “It’s expected that problems will arise when leasing a unit.” This does not mean issues are common. He is acknowledging the intricacy of each project.

While third-party service providers can cost as much as 30% lower, more experienced radiology managers know that this can come at a cost.

No matter how you slice it, going with a third-party service provider raises the risk of receiving lower-quality service.

Downtime is very costly and can be a huge headache. In fact, the number one and number two priorities of our radiology managers when evaluating what mobile CT service provider to use were directly related to resolving downtime issues. These included customer service and service availability.

If the engineer sent to your site is undertrained or inexperienced this could end up costing thousands more than it needed to, not to mention the stress that comes with dealing with upset patients or higher-ups.

Another consideration; some companies offer 24/7 service with their rental and leasings. Be sure to find out if the companies you’re looking at do.

Extra Costs to Consider

Each mobile imaging company will have its own way of handling these extra costs, so it’s important to set clear expectations of what you are responsible for. Some costs to consider include:

  • A security deposit
  • Site help, pre-planning, and set-up
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Applications training
  • De-installation
  • Cleaning fees

Planning For Your Unit

Because a mobile CT unit is such a specialized piece of equipment the logistics involved in planning and preparing the site are extensive. If you’re working with a company who knows what they’re doing and you make yourself available to work with them then the process can be smooth. The further in advance you plan though, the better.

Above: A trailer that holds the mobile CT scanner.

Some logistics to consider include the ability of the truck to maneuver the trailer in place, citing issues such as the levelness and condition of the ground, weather conditions, and electrical requirements.

The pad the unit will be set on needs to be able to support 30 or more tons of weight. It also needs enough space for both the mobile CT trailer and the transportation of patients in and out of the trailer. Both the size of the area needed and the dimensions of the trailer will vary depending on the company.

Mobile CT Trailer Guide

Above: An overhead view of a mobile CT trailer and the area required for it.

Ongoing Maintenance And Customer Service

As we mentioned earlier, this is a big deal for the radiology managers we spoke with. You’ll want to make sure there are multiple points of contact for situations involving both the trailer holding the CT equipment and the CT equipment itself. If your company is an OEM service provider then your point of contact for the mobile imaging equipment will likely be the OEM.


Once you’ve scheduled a time for the service engineer to come out and unplug everything you’ll want to make sure you remove all patient data. You’ll also need to remove all items you brought into the trailer and you may be responsible for final cleaning.


When searching for a mobile imaging service provider the top three priorities of the radiology managers were customer service, availability, and price, in that order.

When looking for your own company try to run through the checklist of questions provided in this article to make sure they’re up to providing the highest quality service. Renting a mobile CT scanner can be a smooth experience if done with the right company. We hope this article brought some clarity about what that company should look like.


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Integrate Mobile Medical Imaging Without A Headache

Medical Imaging Logos

Written By: Timothy M. Gustafson MBA, RT ( R )

There are several reasons that you or your institution may be considering utilizing mobile medical imaging in modalities such as CT, MRI, and PET/CT.

Some of the more common reasons include supplementation of existing imaging resources, maintaining service during technology replacement and upgrades, and increasing your capabilities just to name a few.

With the right consideration and planning this can be a very rewarding endeavor but like many things, lack of preparation can have disastrous consequences.

After 18 years in the field working with scores of clients and manufacturers, I have seen a myriad of results from various levels of preparation.

Failure to adequately prepare can be one of the costlier mistakes one can make in this area. Service disruptions are not only costly but can also affect patient care by causing delays and potentially compromise critical programs such as supporting stroke programs when CT resources are not readily available or operational.

So how can we prepare to take the processes and systems we have used inside the hospital and successfully transition them to a mobile trailer?

This is the prevalent question when preparing for this transition.

Staff and leadership alike can often be intimidated by the change in location, processes, and routines. This has a direct effect on the staffs’ confidence in their abilities and comfort with their surroundings while caring for patients.

This mental obstacle is often the first hurdle I assist institutions and teams with as I work to integrate what they do well with the numerous changes.

To that end, I have devised the top 5 aspects to consider prior to deciding on a vendor or signing a contract. While not intended to be an all-inclusive guide to successful planning, I wanted to pass along some of the more important considerations when “going mobile”.

1. Time

mobile medical imaging timeline

Before getting too far into the process of selecting a technology or a vendor, it is critical to determine how long the equipment will be needed.

In the case of adding mobile while in-house equipment is being upgraded or replaced, it is important to prepare for delays that too often occur and are largely out of our control.

If your CT vendor estimates a 12-month install, it is highly advised that you have mobile equipment in place or contracted for 1-3 months longer than the estimated install.

It can be problematic when the equipment you are contracted for is devoted to a follow-on assignment at the end of the contract. In some cases, an extension of contract terms can be at a higher rate than the initial contract which turns into a truly unnecessary cost.

2. Training

mobile medical imaging logos

This is an area near and dear to my heart.

A transition to a mobile environment can be a challenge in and of itself but when the new equipment involves learning a new manufacturer or process, the challenge can be greatly increased.

Terminology and workflow differ between GE, Siemens, Toshiba, Hitachi, and others.

The differences are not always intuitive or simply a matter of new terminology. In most cases, staff will not have the time to train typically provided with a new manufacturer installation.

In my experience, I generally have had 2-5 days to train multiple Technologists how to use equipment that they are at best minimally familiar with. The process can be even more challenging when Cardiac, CTA, or special procedures are involved. Quite often budgetary and time constraints mean learning the basics quickly and instituting a “train the trainer” approach to bringing all Technologists up to speed.

An important consideration in this area entails seeking to allocate mobile units that are identical or close to the equipment being installed. This essentially gives your institution an invaluable head start on being proficient once the new in-house equipment is ready to use. When this is not possible, it is suggested to select technology as close to what the staff is already trained on to prevent having to learn skills applicable to the mobile unit during the interim but not applicable before or after the mobile unit arrives.

3. Physical Layout

In addition to a level and an easily accessible location to place the mobile unit, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Proximity to power sources, the emergency room, protection from the elements, and distance from other services are key considerations. With longer term mobile engagements, awnings and/or pathways may need to be installed to ensure patient safety and security.

It is important to note that distance from network connections can directly affect the reliability and strength of IT connections which makes this almost as important as how fast the equipment can scan.

4. Equipment Needs

As we know, it takes more than diagnostic imaging equipment to run an Imaging department. contrast injectors, durable goods, disposable medical equipment, faxes, and computers are just a few of the items needing to be relocated to the mobile unit in order to function effectively.

As a rule of thumb, if you needed it in the hospital, you will need it in the trailer.

This includes oxygen and crash carts which are often the last pieces of equipment to be relocated. It is of utmost importance to test the equipment in the new location prior to go-live in the mobile unit to mitigate post transition failures.

Common hospital beds can often be hard to maneuver and in some cases may not fit safely in a mobile unit. For this, I typically suggest using ambulance stretchers or wheelchairs to bring the patient out to the mobile unit.

Lastly, it is crucial to ensure that all stakeholders understand the needs of the mobile unit. This is particularly true for emergency personnel, biomedical engineers, and respiratory specialists who will need to ensure that their respective areas are in a constant state of readiness. Equipment failures can often have a magnified negative effect in a mobile environment.

5. Safety and Security

When not properly supported, technologists and support staff in a mobile unit can often feel isolated. This can have serious consequences for patient safety when staff does not know who to call when something goes wrong.

Additionally, it is paramount to ensure that resources such as Code Blue and Rapid Response teams are not only aware of new locations and processes, but perform live tests responding to issues in the trailer.

It is a serious problem if a Code Blue is called in the mobile unit and the team does not know where to find the patient. While this seems like common sense, there have been instances where this was overlooked.

Lastly, staff need to be familiar and able to teach other staff how to operate patient lifts and other equipment safely as they often have not been exposed to working in this environment.

While these elements may at first seem daunting, benefits of mobile imaging include service and support during the duration of the rental typically included in the monthly rental costs and exposure to newer technology. Proper planning with a long-term focus can actually render the project a worthwhile investment.

For best results, planning is key and there are many resources in the marketplace to assist your endeavor. Start early by seeking a trusted vendor as well as reaching out to your network or others for experiences and feedback and ask questions until you have all of the answers that you need to capitalize on the investment of your time and money.

I wish you success and as always, feel free to reach out to me if we can help make this a more manageable process.

Timothy M. Gustafson MBA, RT ( R )
Director of Imaging
Director of Applications Training

Planning For A Mobile CT Lease

Man's Finger On Phone And Tablet

Many customers who come to us for an interim CT lease do not have the necessary site requirements to park or run mobile units. It is unfortunate that when a hospital is designed, a proper pad and power for mobile units is not always in the plans. We consistently find a way to make it work.

Power is the biggest issue that can cause nightmare situations; if not preplanned and built to specs. Without proper power a generator must be rented locally and ran 24/7 to keep the unit ready for operation. Generators emit fumes and noise while running. This can disturb patients or nearby homes. The cost of gas for around the clock operation can wreak havoc on any budget. If you run out of gas everything comes to a halt. Patients are not getting treated and the OEM may have to come onsite to make sure the sudden power dropout did not damage the unit. One of our sites running on generator recently called us when the generator quit running and a patient was on the trailer. We talked them through manually opening the rollup door and running the patient lift on battery power to get the patient safely out of the mobile.

The next issue hospitals face is location. Where do you park a fifty foot semi-truck trailer so that patients and staff can access it easily and power can be connected? The ideal pad is a cement one with a slight slope for drainage. We have successfully parked on broken asphalt and even dirt, but the trailers level can go off as the unit settles into the soft surface.

So now that I have told you the nightmares let me tell you about my dream site. We recently rented to a site that had a cement pad with power available right at the side of the pad. The patient access was designed so that they came out directly adjacent to the mobiles lift. Then the coup de grace! The building was U shaped around the pad so the wind did not buffet the unit or patients coming out to it. The only thing that I could dream of to make this the ultimate design would be an A frame roof covering the pad to keep out rain and snow.

What can I say I dream of unusual things?