What Is a Linear Accelerator?

A linear accelerator is a device that uses high Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic waves to accelerate charged particles to high energies in a linear path, inside a tube like structure called the accelerator waveguide. The resonating frequency of the medical linac is about 3 billion Hertz cycles per second. This is the most common device to treat cancer with external beam radiation. Accelerator is basically an apparatus for accelerating charged subatomic particles, used in radiotherapy, and the production of radionuclides.

A pulsed electron beam generated by an electron gun passes through a long, straight vacuum tube containing alternating hollow electrodes. The electrodes are arranged so that, when their high frequency potentials are properly varied, the electrons passing through the tube receive successive increments of energy. The electrons are stopped abruptly by a heavy metal target and directed by a collimator to deliver super voltage X-Rays to the patient receiving radiotherapy.

The linear accelerator (Linac), uses microwave technology to accelerate electrons in a part of the linac called waveguide, then allows these electrons to collide with a heavy metal target. As a result of these collisions, high energy X-Rays (Photons) are produced from the target.

Linear Accelerator Technicians: Performs advanced technical support related to the maintenance and operation of medical linear accelerators. Jobs include preventive maintenance scheduling and responding to down linear accelerator parts and services, Coordinates vendor service and documentation, when necessary. Maintains inventory and orders parts for linear accelerators. Can assist in the design and modification of treatment accessories for physics and other departmental equipment as needed for patient treatment, quality assurance and research support. May require an ASEE or equivalent or Bachelors’ degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or a directly related field. A senior position requires five (5) years of directly related experience maintaining and servicing medical linear accelerators. Specific experience is typically required on Varian Linear Accelerators. Authorized Varian training is highly desirable. Manufactures of these items include Siemens, Philips, Varian, and Elekta. Repair organizations include Acceletronics, Centura, and Altair.

When linear accelerator parts and services breaks down it is imperative that repair services are almost immediate. Downtime in a medical setting can literally be the difference between life and death so having the ability to have direct access to medical equipment repair services should be of the outmost priority. Another detail that is forgotten is the urgency of finding the parts for medical equipment. Without the proper parts to fix down machines technicians are at a stalemate with getting much need equipment like LINACS and CT scanners up and going again.

Having instantaneous access to OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators, Radiotherapy CT Simulators and Radiation Oncology equipment is pertinent.  With newer equipment it is often difficult to find access to replacement parts. Newer medical equipment can be difficult to find replacement parts for simply because of the newness of the piece to the market.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  We provide high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  For more information on low cost parts for repairing Linac equipment find us at http://www.radparts.c

Choosing refurbished vs. new

The best cancer treatment starts when patients have a proper diagnosis. It is crucial to have a definitive plan of action when treating cancerous tumors.  Top medical facilities, skilled professionals, proper medical equipment, and a complete and accurate diagnosis allow patients to have the best possible outcome with their cancer treatment.

Radiation therapy is used in the treatment of most cancer patients.  This is true even when patients are being given a cocktail of other drugs used to treat cancer.  Radiation is a service that is provided by oncology practitioners.  According to a research, about 60% or more cases involving patients with cancer in the United States undergo radiation therapy to treat or cure their cancer.  Radiation cannot be delivered with using a linear accelerator.

A linear accelerator is machine that is able to shoot radiation onto the cancerous tumor without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.  With innovative attempts to make linear accelerators more advanced, they would give guaranteed accuracy at all times. This will ensure the least possible impact on the surrounding tissue around the tumor.  Damage to the surrounding tissue is one of the greatest drawbacks of using radiation in the first place.  This issue can come to an end with this more technological attempt at radiation treatment using linear accelerators in treatment.

Oncology care providers can only get the equipment their facilities can afford to purchase.  New linear accelerators can cost upwards of four million dollars.  This is where purchasing a refurbished linear accelerator can sometimes offer facilities a chance to offer top notch treatments at a fraction of the cost.  Refurbished medical equipment can save companies upwards of fifty percent off the cost of buying new.

Refurbished equipment is reliable, secure, and effective while taking in consideration your facilities budget and is surely a good approach to offer to cancer patients. These newly advanced linear accelerators offer precise treatments that are carried out by best of engineers and technicians.

One of the most important reasons to buy a refurbished accelerator is that it frees up your remaining budget to help you continue to grow your practice. With updated equipment you have the chance of treating more patients.  This in turn increases your experience and your practice. With a refurbished linear accelerator you have more chances of saving the patients you treat and curing them of cancer. Advances in technology and equipment give your patient’s confidence in the effectiveness of your treatments.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  We provide high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  For more information on low cost parts for repairing Linac equipment find us at http://www.radparts.com.

Access To Immediate Medical Equipment Repair Services and Parts Is Imperative

When medical equipment breaks down it is imperative that repair services are almost immediate.  Downtime in a medical setting can literally be the difference between life and death so having the ability to have direct access to medical equipment repair services should be of the utmost priority.  Another detail that is forgotten is the urgency of finding the parts for medical equipment.  Without the proper parts to fix down machines technicians are at a stalemate with getting much need equipment like LINACS and CT scanners up and going again.

Having instantaneous access to OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators, Radiotherapy CT Simulators and Radiation Oncology equipment is pertinent.  With newer equipment it is often difficult to find access to replacement parts.  Newer medical equipment can be difficult to find replacement parts for simply because of the newness of the piece to the market.

This is just one of the many reasons that when medical facilities are in need of new equipment they look into purchasing refurbished equipment.  Parts are more accessible for older, refurbished equipment.  The more universal and successful the model, the more readily replacement parts will be.  The more readily available the replacement parts for LINACS, CT scanners and radiotherapy equipment the less likely you are to have downtime due to service issues.  The ease of accessing these parts will make them more affordable to purchase.  Affordable replacement parts make it possible for facilities to keep key medical equipment replacement components on hand and ready to be installed if equipment failure should occur.

The cost savings associated with purchasing refurbished when looking to replace important medical equipment.  This allows newer, smaller facilities to afford top quality, name brand equipment at a fraction of the cost of buying a similar machine brand new.  It is important to note that we aren’t just talking about a few thousand dollars here.  When looking into buying a Linear Accelerator or CT scanner facilities are looking at a bill upwards of three million dollars.  Many times the purchase of refurbished equipment can save facilities upwards of fifty percent of what they would have paid to buy the equipment brand new.  Think about that, the savings could be upwards of one point five million dollars.  This isn’t small change no matter what industry you come from but especially not in medicine.

From easy access to replacement parts and immediate service to cost savings and customer service buying refurbished medical equipment is a solid business decision.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  We provide high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  For more information on low cost parts for repairing Linac equipment find us at http://www.radparts.com.

Outsourcing Medical Equipment Maintenance

Medical facilities need to depend on outside medical equipment service providers when in-house service specialists are not on staff.  Regular maintenance, including preventative and corrective measures, needs to be done to keep medical equipment safe and running smoothly.  Updating software and worn parts adds to the longevity of medical equipment thus resulting in savings for your facility.

Many facilities try to cut corners by having personnel perform regular maintenance and minor repairs.  While this may occasionally work it is always better to enter into a service contract with a third party service company or equipment vendor to perform corrective and preventative maintenance.  A service contract will ensure that your equipment is maintained at regular intervals.  This will help to combat against unexpected machine failures.  There are several options when choosing a service contract.  We will look into the options below.

Third Party Equipment Service Contracts Available To Medical Facilities

  • 24/7 Full Coverage: A medical facility can request services anytime, day or night.
  • Business Hour Coverage: With this type of service contract a medical center will receive service during normal business hours, five days a week for eight hours a day.
  • Extended Business Hour Coverage: This service contract offers the same coverage as business hour coverage except that it covers more than eight hours.  If your facility is open from nine in the morning until nine at night this would be one of the contract options to consider.
  • Extended Business Hour and Weekend Coverage: Similar to the above except it adds hours to cover facilities on the weekend.
  • Preventative Maintenance Coverage: This type of service contract only covers planned maintenance and does not cover unplanned corrective services.
  • Time and Material Coverage: A time and material coverage contract is where a service provider is paid based on the actual cost of parts and labor used. This contract is usually based on a specific cost per hour of labor.
  • Loaner Service Contract Coverage: This type of contract allows medical facilities to return the unit to the vendor and the vendor provides a loaner unit until the equipment is returned to its original state. This is a difficult service contract to have in place with large scaled equipment such as linear accelerators and ct scanners.

In our next installment on medical equipment service contracts we will discuss tips on negotiating a contract that best meets your facilities needs while maintaining a reasonable budget.

Medical Equipment Service Contract Negotiating Tips

We talk a lot about cutting costs when it comes to medical equipment service contracts from service contracts to onsite personnel in charge of regular maintenance.   When medical facilities rely on outsourcing medical equipment maintenance and repair it is important that you enter into a contract that makes sense for you.  It is important not to pay for contract features that you will not use.  These features add to an already tight budget that most facilities are already trying to maneuver.  In this installment we will discuss negotiating tips between medical facilities and medical equipment maintenance and repair companies.

  • Take note of the options available in service contracts from the vendor. Consider the details that layout time, materials and labor charges of the different companies you are looking into before making a contract purchase.
  • New medical equipment is less likely to break down than older equipment therefore requiring a less detailed service contract. New equipment does not usually require the twenty four hour, seven day a week contract that older, essential equipment may.  New equipment can most likely exist on a regular maintenance contract for the first three years. Not to mention that most new medical equipment repairs are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Certain medical devices, such as slit lamps, don’t require service contracts from out sourced entities. Some equipment can be maintained with regular inspections and maintenance that can easily be provided by in-house equipment specialists and sometimes even the personnel in charge of running it.
  • Some large scaled medical equipment will require only a limited out sourced service contract. Equipment such as ultrasounds, scanners and lasers are all fairly reliable and in house personnel can perform initial inspections and can be the first responders to issues when they arise.  These pieces can often benefit from remote support which can be provided at a lesser cost basis than on service support.
  • Backup equipment is another area where facilities can lessen the service contract associated with each machine. Most back up equipment does not need to be services at all hours of the day and can utilize a less stringent service contract such as a business hours only contract.
  • When entering into a service contract it is crucial that you have everything in writing. Verbal commitments are often hard to uphold.  When you are contracting outside medical equipment service specialist it is crucial to document everything within the contract.  This protects both parties later on from miscommunication.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  We provide high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  For more information on low cost parts for repairing Linac equipment find us at http://www.radparts.com.

Cutting Costs Without A Decrease In Quality

Medical centers are always looking for ways to cut costs when it comes to maintaining, repairing and purchasing new equipment.  This article includes the top ways that hospitals and medical facilities can cut costs while continuing to improve quality care and patient outcomes.

The best way to save money in any industry is to continuing using the equipment that is already owned.  It is common for medical facilities to outsource medical equipment support services.  Using external service providers while having reliable support in house, otherwise known as clinical engineers, keeps equipment running at peak performance.  Simple in house adjustments and simple repairs can save a tremendous amount of money.  Not only are you saving on the cost of outsourced vendor services but also on the costs associated with any downtime experienced with medical equipment failure.

Support can be provided in a number of ways including in person and remote services.  Instead of assuming your issue can only be resolved by having a technician come out to your facility ask about less expensive remote services.  Many repairs can be accomplished through a remote technician.  Through the remote session the technician can diagnosis if the equipment can be resolved with simple tweaks or if service personnel are needed on site.  Most medical equipment vendors can offer support remotely twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  Many times on staff clinical engineers can even repair equipment with the support of the remote operator.  The nature of remote services allows the vendor to support more than one client at a time thus costing less for remote services.

Instead of working directly with the original equipment manufacturer, OEM, consider getting support from trusted third party medical equipment repair support service specialists.  Working with OEMs tends to be more costly and take significantly more time then services using a third party vendor.  This is a simple way to have necessary services performed on equipment while maintaining patient care.

One of the most effective ways that medical facilities can save money when it comes to large, specialized medical equipment is to make sure that regular maintenance is performed.  Imaging equipment including linear accelerators and ct scanners are known for having particularly long life cycles.  It is in the best interest of facilities to take advantage of this benefit.  Scheduling proper maintenance and timely repairs allows facilities to get the most out of expensive medical equipment.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  We provide high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  For more information on low cost parts for repairing Linac equipment find us at http://www.radparts.com.