By John Garrett
Imaging equipment covers have a special place in the hearts of those who service the equipment. Typically that place is in the depths where all things that one does not mention in polite company reside. It is most probable that people who design the covers for medical imaging equipment have never had to remove and replace said covers. They are usually a challenge to get on and off equipment. In recent years this has improved on some equipment, but there is a lot of equipment that has taught many a great deal about their temper and anger management.
During preventative maintenance (PM) a common instruction is to examine the unit covers. Often there is a small amount of touch up paint that came with the system to assist in hiding scratches. Yet it is not uncommon to find a minor crack near around the edge. This is often a result of difficulty replacing the cover once it is removed. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for a cover to be replaced with fewer screws than were removed. If a cover has 10 screws, 10 screws should be used to hold it on when it is replaced.
Common issues that make it more difficult than it already is to replace a cover include the position of the machine when the cover is replaced, screw receptacles slipping, or another misaligned cover.
The real issue that covers currently present is that of infection control according to the Joint Commission, DNV and, more seriously, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A cracked cover is being seen as an infection control issue. It is serious enough to be considered a finding. No one wants CMS to have a finding.
Obviously, new covers can be ordered and put on the units. However, most of the covers can be repaired by an auto body shop or an independent service organization (ISO) if you just ask. Another option may be to use auto body repair kits to repair it in house. YouTube even has a video on how to repair things with baking soda and super glue (Cyanoacrylate). Just make sure that you have a matching paint that is designed for the material the cover is made from to finish off the repair.
Just as previously mentioned, after repairing you need to ensure that you put the cover on properly as designed. If other covers are misaligned make sure to realign them prior to installing the repaired cover. After replacing the cover, check the full range of motion to find any undue stress points that may point to more serious alignment issues.