Safely Moving Medical Equipment: Tips & Solutions 

Some types of machinery are made for rough handling and harsh environments. Medical equipment is not in that category.

Because of the sensitivity and significant cost of the machinery, hiring experienced professionals is an absolute must for safe medical equipment moving. Even movers that have been in operation for years may not have experience and resources that are needed for moving medical equipment and therefore aren’t equipped to safely do so.

Anyone who’s in need of medical moving solutions has a lot to consider before hiring help. To know how to move medical equipment safely, you first need to know what type of medical equipment requires specialized moving services.

Medical Equipment That Requires Special Transportation Logistics

Machinery moving isn’t a standard moving service for good reason. It’s complicated. Medical equipment tends to be very delicate, precisely calibrated, and extremely expensive. Like other types of machinery, it can also be very heavy. In most cases, all of those factors come into play, which necessitates the assistance of professional movers.

Medical equipment that should be moved by specialists include:

  • MRI equipment
  • CT scanners and systems
  • PET systems
  • Linear accelerators
  • Cyclotrons
  • Oxygen concentrators

In truth, given the cost of the machines and what they’re used for, most medical equipment should only be handled by properly trained professional movers.

Moving MRI Equipment

MRI machines and systems are the perfect example of medical equipment that requires moving professionals with specific expertise and skillsets. Moving MRI equipment is a challenge because of the equipment’s size alone. The equipment also must be kept at a certain temperature or it could result in damage. Then there’s the issue of the magnet inside that needs to be isolated so it doesn’t impact other machines.

Experienced moving specialists will be privy to these special needs and how to accommodate them so that medical equipment is moved safely.

Preparing for Medical Equipment Relocation

If you have medical equipment that requires special transportation logistics, you’ll need to prepare in advance so that the move goes as smoothly as possible. There’s a lot of risk involved when you’re moving delicate equipment, even if it’s just to another part of the same facility. The more you can plan out the move, the easier it should be.

Step 1 – Enlist the Help of Medical Equipment Moving Experts 

Everything is easier right from the start if you have the help of professional medical equipment movers. They can provide guidance during the planning and preparation phases so that you are fully prepared for any possible setbacks.

Step 2 – Consider Compliance Regulations 

Given that Able Machinery Movers regularly provides moving services for the healthcare industry, we fully understand the importance of following compliance regulations like ADA guidelines that regulate medical equipment placement and assembly. It’s a unique factor that doesn’t apply to all equipment relocations but can be costly if it’s overlooked when moving medical equipment.

Step 3 – Survey Sites Where Medical Equipment is Being Moved 

Before medical equipment can be relocated, you need to survey the site where the medical equipment will be moved out or move in. You may want to use a site survey to determine the safest way to move equipment around. Looking at the layout will help identify possible hazards and obstructions that could get in the way of the move. The goal is to identify anything that could impede the move so that you can plan for it and work around it.

Step 4 – Analyze Operational Needs 

Another important step in the planning process is analyzing operational needs. This will help you keep operations up and running during the move or get things back online as quickly as possible to minimize costly downtime. Analyzing operational needs will also help you choose a time for the move that minimizes disruptions to your operation and inconveniences for patients.

Step 5 – Inventory All Equipment That’s Being Moved 

Finally, you’ll want to do a complete inventory of all the equipment you plan to move. While inventorying the medical equipment, make note of:

  • The model make and model number
  • The dimensions and weight
  • Any special handling instructions
  • How much dismantling is needed
  • If parts need to be moved separately

If components are going to come apart, every piece needs to be on the inventory, so the machinery is reassembled properly.

Safely Packing Medical Equipment for Transport

Once the planning is complete, it’s time to put the moving plan into action. That starts with safely packing the medical equipment for transport. If this step is taken incorrectly, you could do everything else perfectly yet still end up damaging the equipment.

Packing Materials for Moving Medical Equipment 

When you’re transporting medical equipment the packing materials and how they are used matters. You want to use high-quality packing materials that may need to regulate the temperature and moisture levels.

Often, medical equipment requires crating to prevent damage. MRI machines are a good example. Because of the magnetic components, MRI machines need to be crated in a certain way so that other machines aren’t damaged during transport.

Custom crating is something that Able Machinery Movers is known for in the moving industry. Our certified machinery packing services are appropriate for a wide selection of medical equipment. We’re able to design unique crates that can be built at our facility or on-site if needed.

Proper Labeling for Medical Equipment Moving 

Labeling is also an important point when you’re packing medical equipment. With this type of move, labeling serves a few purposes beyond telling you what’s inside. Any items that are sensitive or fragile should be labeled accordingly. And if a piece of equipment needs to remain in a certain position or at a specific temperature that should be noted with labeling as well.

Safe Loading and Unloading Practices

After the medical equipment is safely packed it must be loaded. This is another point in the process where equipment damage can occur if things are managed correctly.

Lifting and lowering medical equipment should be done by trained staff that know how to use the correct rigging, hoists, cranes, and other moving machinery. Proper machinery use is a matter of safety for the people involved as well as the medical equipment.

Unloading involves the same precautions as loading with the added challenge of placement. Moving personnel need to ensure that there is enough space to safely unload the equipment and maneuver it into place. A site survey can be used to evaluate the space and what equipment will be needed.

Preparing the Destination Site

Moving a piece of medical equipment isn’t something you want to do sight unseen. You don’t want to wait until you’re in the middle of the move to realize that you aren’t able to place the machinery at the new site as you expected.

Site preparation needs to be done well in advance so that you know exactly where the machinery will go, what transfer equipment is needed to get it there, and what could get in the way of that happening. Everything that’s needed should be at the destination site before the move so that there are no delays.

Staff Training and Communication 

It’s not enough to have the right equipment for moving medical devices. You need the right people with the right training to use the equipment properly. If the crew is not properly trained on the proper handling procedures for a piece of equipment it creates an unsafe situation that can lead to injury or damage the machinery that’s being moved.

Staff should go through regular training on best practices, and there should be training sessions for any new piece of equipment that’s acquired. All this should be done in addition to OSHA training.

Communication is another key factor. This applies to communication among the moving personnel as well as your team. An important part of the planning phase is going over safety protocols for the new environment where the medical equipment will be located. Open communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands what needs to happen to ensure everything is done safely.

Benefits of Opting for Professional Medical Moving Solutions 

Everything outlined above is much easier if you have professionals helping you determine the best medical moving solutions for your situation. Professional machinery movers like Able will have relocated similar equipment and can offer insight that even equipment operators aren’t considering.

Reassuring Guidance That Helps Moves Go as Expected

It’s this guidance that many healthcare facilities find most valuable when they hire specialty movers. Simply knowing where to start can be a challenge if you’ve never had to move medical equipment before. Working with an experienced moving team that understands the logistics that are involved offers assurance that everything will go as expected without any expensive delays.

Liability Insurance and Coverage 

If something does go wrong, professional movers should have insurance to cover costs. It’s another form of assurance that in the end you’ll get the outcome you want, even if the movers make a mistake.

How Able Machinery Movers Can Help in Moving Medical Equipment 

Able Machinery Movers specializes in complex machinery moves that require in-depth planning, rigging, and clean room services to ensure equipment is safely transported. We can handle every aspect of moving medical equipment from custom-made crates to expert rigging with a 400-ton gantry system. It’s a true start-to-finish service that can be managed by our highly skilled project coordinators.

We’re a go-to resource for moving MRI equipment. Able’s team includes medical equipment moving specialists who have experience working with medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers. This type of knowledge comes in handy when you are relocating large, extremely sensitive MRI machines that require heavy lifting with a gentle touch. Our experts also understand the importance of controlling environmental factors like temperature that can affect the operation of medical equipment.

You’ll receive professional guidance that not only makes this move easier, but all other future moves. Your team will gain a better understanding of what it takes to move medical equipment, so you’re better prepared in the future.

Check out our advanced rigging services, cleanroom services, crating, and more to get a better idea of what Able Machinery Movers can do. Or if you’re ready to start moving medical equipment, you can give us a call to discuss your project needs in more detail.

When great care is needed to move sensitive medical equipment, organizations know they can count on Able Machinery Movers!