Planning Your Imaging Project

It appears that developers of Imaging Facilities are trying to establish construction plans, imaging systems and budget pricing without understanding how best to organize the project.

Although many want to avoid the obvious, you really can’t plan anything without first determining how much will be available to spend? Most project managers understand the general cost of various diagnostic imaging systems and are already considering costs of available facilities. What other costs need to considered?

You don’t want to plan to modify a facility without having an experienced medical facility architect/engineer. You should interview local professionals with strong references and obtain quotes for their services. These people are extremely important to the project as they will provide the specifications contractors will use to bid the reconstruction.

Next, you should obtain prices for the systems you intend to purchase for the facility. Although, prices will change over time, the reconstruction specifications must include features required to accommodate the systems that will be purchased. Therefore, contracting the purchase of these systems early, will insure the facility specifications will accurately represent the systems requirements. If the project cost is becoming larger than anticipated, alternative systems can be considered. Although many want to delay the purchase of systems, the smart move is to lock down specific design requirements by purchasing the system in advance of construction so building modifications are not required once reconstruction has begun or is completed – these late changes can be very costly.

Once the architect understands the building layout and the system requirements, he can develop building renovation specifications for contractor bidding. Two to three experienced medical facility contractors should be interviewed and invited to bid the project. Local contractors are preferred but when that is not possible, the contractors location should be considered. The contractor should be responsible for obtaining the appropriate building permits. Incremental payments should be negotiated with the contractor and be based upon him meeting completion deadlines for various portions of the project.

Once completed, the reconstruction bids can be evaluated along with a construction schedule. Although pricing is critical, often the project’s timing may be equally as critical. For example, if contractor “A” is 8% lower than contractor “B” but renovation time is 40 days longer for contractor “A”, the cost of lost business over a 40 day period must be considered.

The construction contract should be awarded, a schedule determined and the systems supplier(s) notified of scheduled delivery dates. Although few projects remain on schedule, having planned correctly insures that cost and schedules do not become a problem or totally out of control.

Lastly, if you decide you do not have the time or experience or desire to plan and manage a project, you can hire organizations like ours to plan and implement the project start to finish for a fee generally ranging between 3% – 5% of the project cost.