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Demand for 1.5T MRIs and veterinary imaging services is growing rapidly, driven by people’s willingness to invest in the health of their pets and the growing popularity of pet insurance. 

Adding these services to your practice expands your options for care, but it also represents a costly commitment and can put your business at risk if your equipment doesn’t perform as expected. Unreliable imaging services can erode your clients’ confidence in your practice.

It’s critical you choose a reliable business partner to support your imaging services. Here’s what to look for as you evaluate options for your small animal imaging business partner.

Specialty Expertise in Veterinary Imaging

Many veterinary practices purchase used human 1.5T MRI systems for their small animal imaging services. The upfront cost may seem like a bargain, but these older MRIs are more likely to break down, which can delay care and result in unforeseen costs and lost revenue. Moreover, they require significant adjustments to be useful for small animal care.

Resellers of human MRI machines are unlikely to provide any kind of ongoing support. Even if they offer a warranty against breakdowns, they can’t advise you on veterinary use cases or optimizing the machine for small animals. They won’t have the specific knowledge and experiences you need to develop parameters for your small animal imaging.

Instead, look for a veterinary imaging business partner with targeted expertise in small animal imaging, particularly, one who can train your staff on using the MRI system correctly. A partner specializing in small animal imaging will keep your needs top of mind as they develop new products and services. This makes for a healthy and beneficial long-term relationship.

Flexible Pricing Models

Every veterinary practice and hospital has different financial needs, and your small animal imaging business partner should be able to accommodate these different stages of growth. To that end, look for a business partner who keeps their financing in-house. If your agreement is owned by the partner, rather than a third party, they can get creative with financing to offer you maximum flexibility on your purchasing and payment options. 

For instance, an ideal business partner might allow you to bundle new agreements with older ones when you add new services or build site preparation costs into the agreement to minimize upfront costs. Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all payment plan.

Look for flexible purchasing options, too. Maybe you aren’t ready to purchase outright, making a flat-rate rental a good choice for your practice. Find a business partner who offers options for rental lengths, along with the option to purchase the MRI system at the end of the term. A great veterinary imaging business partner will put your needs first and work to offer you tailored financing and purchasing solutions.

Responsive Technical Support

Successful veterinary imaging depends on finding suitable physical space for your equipment. For example, Hallmarq has an architect on staff to consult on where to place your new machine to optimize space within your practice. If you don’t have the space in-hospital, the company also offers flexible installation options, such as modular buildings and trailers.

As you’re evaluating vendors, you should also ask about the software running the MRI or CT. A business partner who develops their own software can help you customize programs at installation, so you don’t have to develop your own protocols through trial and error.

Finally, look for a partner who regularly monitors and protects your investment. In addition to responsive on-site service, Hallmarq proactively monitors every one of its MRI systems through its Virtual Presence platform. The system sends a data packet to the corporate office every five minutes, and service team members are notified if something is amiss. In most cases, the team can fix problems remotely before the user is even aware of them.

Adding a 1.5T MRI system to your practice isn’t without risks, but a great business partner focused exclusively on small animal patients can help mitigate those risks with an exceptional service and support plan.

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