How do you start planning for an ultrasound equipment purchase?
What are the questions you need to ask yourself before the prospective ultrasound dealer may inquire? Here’s a “how-to” buy ultrasound.
Identify the intent.
Therapeutic Ultrasound or Diagnostic Ultrasound. We will discuss Diagnostic today.
Identify your patient base.
Are you caring for people or pets? Are you caring for the elderly or pediatric? Are you caring for male or female? Are you identifying consistent cases of an illness or disease? What will you scan?
Identify your practice or facility.
Are you a cardiologist? Veterinarian? Imaging Clinic? Hospital? 4D Baby Face Clinic? Women’s Health? Orthopedic? Vein Clinic? Are you a specialty practice?
Once you identify the questions above, you will know the application(s) to disclose to your ultrasound vendor/dealer.
Some common applications you may reference are Obstetrics, Gynecology, Cardiac, Vascular, Breast Imaging, 3D/4D, Venous, MSK, Plastic Surgery, Anesthesiology and more.
Next, as you start thinking about equipment that fits your purpose, also consider equipment that fits the allotted space.
Do you prefer a large cart-based trolley that may weigh in at over 200 lbs? Since it has casters, you can still move it slowly between rooms. Some precautions may be to hold the probe cables up because they may dangle near the casters and snag, pulling out the ultrasound probe which then hits the floor and may cause crystal damage.
Do you prefer a smaller ultrasound unit, preferably a portable ultrasound machine that may weigh less than 20lbs and create options for ultra-mobility yet still give a presence in the office on a custom trolley with expandability and shelves? Portables have created additional options with placing it on a custom cart and adding the triple transducer connector to expand the probes used simultaneously while also providing a shelf for a printer.
Once you make it this far, the conversation can evolve greater and faster because the main needs have been disclosed. Aside from the uncomfortable question of budget which proper and credible dealers will not use to benefit from, it ultimately helps create a filter for which manufacturer, which model, which ultrasound solutions to review.
The ultrasound dealer isn’t done here because you may have a preference on manufacturer whether Philips, Chison, GE, Siemens, Toshiba, Samsung or Sonoscape to name a few. Each manufacturer may have a line of ultrasound models to choose depending on low end to high end, basic or cutting edge technology. Simple questions may be “do you need/want Dicom”? Even though this should be automatic today, it’s not always added. What about Needle Recognition? HDLive? TEE?
So as much as you, the practitioner, doctor, technician, may want to just “get a price”, the reason we may call is to make sure we quote the price relevant to your necessary needs. We need to know what’s important to you so you can buy ultrasound that works, and fits.
Do you know the saying Time is Money? Well, $150 of phone time or couple small emails could equate to saving $1500 later because you configured it correctly the first time. Would this matter to you? If not, we will be sure to find a charity for you to donate that extra cash! If you’re ready to discuss an ultrasound system that you are looking to purchase, let’s see if we can help you with new or refurbished ultrasound machines to consider and budget for in the upcoming months. You can start HERE to gain insight on the ultrasound machines available.
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