5 Tips to Maintain Your Portable Ultrasound Machine
Your portable ultrasound machine is a vital part of your business - and it was an investment that you’d like to not have to make again without good reason. That means you need to care for your ultrasound machine routinely so that you can have the confidence that your machine will last for years to come.
Here are 5 tips to maintain your portable ultrasound machine.
1. Monitor the Transducer
The transducer is the hand-held part of the portable ultrasound machine that comes in direct contact with the patient. This device is responsible for emitting the ultrasound waves that move in sweeping-like patterns over an area of the body, reflecting off of things like bone, tissue, masses, etc. It is, essentially, how we get ultrasound pictures. If it weren’t for the transducer, we wouldn’t have them -- so this part of the machine is a big deal.
After each use, be sure to properly wipe down the transducer itself and any cables that have come in contact with the patient. Additional care involves regular monitoring. Inspect it for cracks along the housing, cable wires, etc. Make sure there are no dents or cuts or swelling of the lens itself. If you notice anything wrong with the transducer, immediately seek repair or replacement.
2. Check Connections Daily
Before you use your ultrasound machine, check your connections. Make sure that all the wires and cables are plugged in as intended and that there are no cut or frayed cables. If there are, be sure to swap them out before using the machine. Don’t forget to check the cable on the transducer, as well.
3. Wipe the Entire Unit Down Daily
At the end of the day - or at the end of a shift - wipe down the ultrasound unit in its entirety. Make sure everything is cleaned and ready to go for the next time. Don’t knot or tangle any cables, either. Keeping everything loose and free will help them to continue to work properly, longer.
4. Maintain the Control Panel
The control panel of your portable ultrasound machine includes the trackball and the keyboard -- two very important parts of the unit. Keep it clean and clear of debris, wiping it down after every use. Any issues you experience while using it, it is a good idea to report it.
5. Keep a Log of Errors
Ultrasounds are machines and, while they almost always work as they should, sometimes they just don’t. Anytime you encounter glitches or errors or problems with your ultrasound, it is important to keep a log of these things. Write down what happened, what you were doing when it happened. Issues that seem troublesome or disruptive, be sure to have the machine examined by a professional.
6. Export Studies Regularly
Each study you perform remains on the ultrasound until you export it. Throughout your week, they continue to build up on the server, potentially causing a decrease in the machine's level of efficiency.
It is important that you export the studies regularly, based on your workload. If you only use it occasionally, then weekly exporting may be just fine. But, if you use your machine regularly throughout the day, exporting daily should help it function optimally.
To make sure that you are getting the most of your portable ultrasound machine for the longest length of time, you need to have a plan in place to properly maintain it. This machine is likely to get a lot of use and to travel from area to area and place to place.
Before the workday begins, have a checklist to review the portable ultrasound machine, such as making sure the wires are in good order and so forth. At the end of the day, have another plan to ensure that it is cleaned up and stored properly so that there is no damage.
A few key things to pay attention to as a means of preventative care are:
- Produce clear Phantom images of probe measuring respective markings for accuracy.
- Determine any existing problems or issues with system
- Check error logs, clear logs, run Diagnostic tests, evaluate errors
- Inspect system controls, power cord and cables for cracks, cuts, wear
- Inspect probes for damage or wear
- Perform system and transducer electrical safety checks
- Clean transducers
- Verify performance of imaging and non-imaging transducers
- Check and verify voltage on battery
- Backup system presets
- Clean all external surfaces
- Clean all filters if applicable
- Check system and power supply fans
- Clean Display and verify performance
- Clean and inspect keyboard, trackball, and electronics
- Perform keyboard/control panel tests
- Check peripherals for functionality and clean
- Verify complete system operation
By engaging in preventative maintenance with these before and after checklists and routine checkups, you can stop major issues before they happen. However, being proactive means also being prepared for when something does go wrong. At some point your ultrasound machine will need to be serviced.
Connecting with a service center and inquiring about service contracts means you are preparing for when that ‘what if’ moment actually happens. These connections usually lead to the ability to have a team that will perform routine maintenance, such as updating software and cleaning up the equipment, inside and out. After all, this is something that should be done routinely every 6 to 12 months.
Finding a team you can trust now can save you a lot of unnecessary downtime when issues arise.
Universal Diagnostic Solutions for Your Portable Ultrasound Needs
The investment for these machines can be extended greatly when you perform regular maintenance and give attention to the units. And Universal Diagnostic Solutions is here to help. We offer training, service and repair, and can even assist you with networking your machine to make exporting studies simple.
If you are in the market for a portable ultrasound machine that will take your business to the next level, then look no further.
Contact Universal Diagnostic Solutions and our ultrasound experts at (760) 754-3288.