A Dozen Tips to Help You Select the Best Medical Equipment for Your Medical Practice
Opening a new office is one of the most exciting accomplishments you will experience as a medical professional. You can establish the foundation for a smooth medical practice opening by selecting high-quality, affordable medical equipment that will stand the test of time. Below are twelve tips to help you choose the right equipment for your new medical practice.
1) Make a comprehensive list of the medical equipment you need
Your equipment list should be well prioritized with the most important items at the top of your list and non-essentials at the bottom. Your list should be comprehensive and should start with these five pieces of equipment:
- A table for each of your treatment areas
- A sterilizer with a chamber that is spacious enough to accommodate your largest instruments
- Ceiling mount LED lighting that produces at least 50,000 to 60,000 lux per light head
2) Consider a one-stop-shop provider
When purchasing medical equipment for your practice, there are two general paths you can take. You can source each item you need from a separate provider or you can purchase your items from a company that specializes in turnkey equipment packages. Purchasing your equipment from a comprehensive equipment provider can help you save time and money on your purchase.
3) Track all of your equipment expenses
Tracking your equipment purchases is one of the best habits you can develop as a new dentist. Here are a few of the many reasons why it is important to track your equipment expenses:
- You can deduct up to $1,000,000 in equipment purchases under the Section 179 Tax Deduction
- You may need to present proof of purchase for warranty coverage
- Maintaining a list of purchases could come in handy if you ever wish to sell or upgrade medical equipment
4) Give yourself a head start
Do not wait until the month before you are scheduled to open your medical practice to begin sourcing medical equipment. Many medical equipment providers require 6-8 weeks to process orders and delivery may take another week depending on your office location. Begin researching equipment companies at least six months before you plan to open your new office to allow plenty of time for order processing and delivery.
5) Request a package discount
Many equipment suppliers will offer price breaks and discounts if you order multiple items. They are eager for your business and will want to distinguish themselves from the competition. If a provider is not willing to offer a package discount, you may be able to negotiate free delivery, complimentary training, free accessories, or an extended warranty.
6) Attend industry trade shows to take advantage of special offers
Attending trade shows and professional meetings is an excellent way to save money and see medical equipment in person. Here are some of the ways that you can save money by attending medical expos such as the Florida International Medical Expo (FIME) and reproductive medicine congresses such as ASRM and ESHRE:
- Many equipment providers offer discounts to dentists who order products during trade shows
- Enjoy equipment giveaways and freebies offered by providers
- You can take advantage of additional savings by purchasing floor models and demo equipment
7) Ask providers about overstock items
Every dollar counts when you are a new provider on a limited budget. Many equipment providers will offer special pricing on overstock items, demo models, and discontinued colors. Most providers do not advertise these products, so you will have to ask if they are available. Other suppliers sometimes feature these items on their clearance page.
8) Schedule equipment training for your staff
There is no substitution for a robust equipment training session on your new products. Ideally, an equipment provider representative will provide onsite training for you and your staff. Otherwise, make sure to request training videos and keep two spare copies of the equipment operating manuals on hand in a secure location.
9) Outline any special delivery needs
Tables, x-ray equipment, and sterilizers are large and can weigh hundreds of pounds. They can present challenges to delivery personnel, especially if your office is not easily accessible. Here are some recommendations to help ensure that you receive your equipment in a timely fashion:
- Make sure your equipment providers know if you are not located on the ground floor of a building
- Let your providers know if you would like white glove service or debris haul-away
- Notify provider of your office hours to avoid failed delivery attempts when you are closed
10) Request warranty details in writing
As you request pricing from equipment providers, always request a written quote that includes the specifics of your product warranty. Be wary of providers that refuse to provide quotes in writing, even if the prices are attractive. Your equipment quote should contain an expiration date and include the following pieces of information:
- The itemized cost of each piece of equipment requested
- A description of all accessories included with your purchase
- Estimated delivery costs
- A summary of your product warranty
11) Consider refurbished equipment for your medical practice
Your medical practice can join millions of doctors across the globe who save 20% to 50% on equipment costs by purchasing high-quality refurbished medical equipment from a worldwide industry provider. If you decide to explore refurbished equipment, make sure to choose an established provider that is registered with the FDA. Do not forget to request a written quote that outlines your warranty details.
12) Take advantage of year-end specials
Thinking like an equipment vendor can help you save thousands of dollars on your medical equipment. November and December are two of the best months to finalize your purchase because many equipment companies are trying to move as much inventory as possible before the close of the year. At the same time, equipment sales representatives are often more willing to offer discounts because they are trying to earn sales bonuses and exceed their sales quotas for the year.
The Bottom Line
Purchasing equipment for your new medical practice is an exciting undertaking. By following the twelve tips above, you can help ensure that your new office is equipped with durable, cost-effective equipment that will meet your needs. For more information on opening a top-notch medical practice, we invite you to contact us. The medical device experts with obp are eager to work with you!