Cassling Makes Waves with First Island Installation of CT System

by Andy Beer on Jul 2, 2019

Catalina OverviewMany considerations go into installing a new piece of imaging equipment. From facility planning and construction to system training and even marketing your new services, it's a long to-do list for imaging providers.

Imagine, then, having to do all of that in isolation. In other words, on an island, surrounded by water.

That's exactly what happened with Cassling’s first CT installation requiring a cross-ocean voyage.

Catalina Island Medical Center (CIMC) of Avalon, California, is right in the heart of a popular tourist destination. There really isn’t anywhere you can look without encountering a gorgeous, breathtaking view of the island and the nearby waves.

For the average citizen, getting to Catalina Island typically requires a ferry ticket. But bringing a system as large as a state-of-the-art CT across the water was not that simple.

The machine was the SOMATOM go.Up, a member of the Siemens Healthineers family of CT systems. This 64-slice system features tablet-based controls that improve the patient experience by allowing the technologist to remain with the patient for longer periods of time, which can help to reduce anxiety. It also uses tin filter technology to minimize radiation dose and an overhead camera to track patient movement.

Catalina Transport InteriorCIMC had specific requirements for the installation of the SOMATOM go.Up. It had to be carefully rigged for the journey on the ocean to the island, which meant we needed an experienced professional who was well-versed in safely transporting highly sensitive medical equipment. This experience level was also necessary for when the equipment reached land; the narrow streets of Avalon can be challenging to regular-sized vehicles, yet we had to navigate the streets in a tractor trailer.

What’s more, CIMC rightfully wanted the new CT to be up and running as quickly as possible, with only one to two days of downtime figured into the project.

Roy Urspruch, account executive, and the rest of the Cassling team put their heads together to determine the best course of action to get CIMC their advanced CT system as quickly and safely as possible. We worked closely with both the hospital team and select local partners to develop a game plan to install the CT system with as little disruption as possible to the hospital, the community or the radiology department.

Avalon Close Call-1The previous CT trailer sat behind the hospital within a curved, narrow driveway between tight adjacent walls, overhead wires and obstructing items such as a large generator, fencing and bollards. That meant a crane was out of the question. We came up with a plan to use a forklift and trailer to maneuver the CT trailers into and out of the tight space. Remitronix, the installation team, Catalina Imaging, the mobile trailer vendor, and Dunkel Brothers, the rigging company, traveled with us to Catalina Island early on in order to figure out how to make this challenging endeavor a reality. With their help, we were able to present a complete solution showing how it could be done.

We were able to successfully “pre-install” the SOMATOM go.Up system in a refurbished mobile coach at Catalina Imaging’s facility in Loomis, California. With that big hurdle taken care of, the rigging company was able to secure the system, ensuring the trailer’s roadworthiness and the safety of the CT throughout the journey.

On the day the installation was set to occur, the trailer was moved onto a barge in Wilmington before being transported offshore to Catalina Island. Once on the island, we were able to safely navigate the picturesque streets of Avalon and install the new CT trailer in its rightful place within Catalina Island Medical Center.

Rolling Through Avalon-1-1We’ve already heard from the radiology team at CIMC that the image quality is “exceptional” and beyond their expectations. I’m honored that we were able to make that a reality. Thanks to a team effort between Cassling employees and so many others who made this transport and installation possible, the CIMC team is now able to take advantage of features that will benefit patients, users and radiologists.

Perhaps the best part? We were able to transport the previous mobile CT trailer back to the mainland, where it could be installed for another customer in need of a trailer to house their SOMATOM go.Now CT system!

Many moving parts needed to fall into place to make Cassling’s first ocean voyage work, and just as I expected, our team was more than up to the task. This installation speaks to the enormous creativity of our team and the willingness to be flexible to meet the needs of our hospital and health system clients.

The ocean may be far from our Omaha headquarters, but I know the Cassling team can provide exceptional customer service both at sea and on land.


Meet the Author

Andy Beer is the executive vice president at Cassling. He received his business administration degree at Iowa State University and completed the Alternative MBA course at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business. Andy is a veteran of the diagnostic and medical imaging industry. He spent 12 years at Siemens Medical Solutions where he gained direct sales and management experience before joining Cassling in 2002. While at Siemens, Andy received a number of company awards and honors, including the Circle of Excellence Award and the Masters Award. He stays involved in the community by donating time to his church and coaching youth basketball.

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