One of the most crucial pieces of diagnostic equipment in the clinical setting is an ultrasound machine. If you are a healthcare professional who strives to provide the best quality care, you are well aware that having the right medical equipment is essential. However, due to their high costs, purchasing a brand new ultrasound machine can be difficult to afford. For this reason, purchasing used ultrasound machines has been gaining popularity among the healthcare industry and medical professionals.
Before you start looking around for an ultrasound machine, you must learn a little more about used machines. A used machine is not the same as purchasing a new one. This by no means implies a used ultrasound machine cannot get the job done; it simply means you must choose well if you are to avoid sacrificing your time, money, and effort. So, if you are determined to purchase a used ultrasound machine, here are a few factors you should take into consideration. These factors can help you find the right machine that will guarantee your satisfaction and, most importantly, offer your patients timely diagnoses and accurate results.
Set your budget
The great thing about purchasing a used ultrasound machine is there are numerous options and price ranges to choose from. Whether you are considering a Mindray or Phillips ultrasound machine, you need to figure out how much you are willing to spend. Generally speaking, an ultrasound machine can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $75,000 and higher. While you will probably pay considerably less for a used machine, you must not look only at the price. You should also take into consideration other costs, such as the parts that may need to be replaced or repaired. Do not settle for the cheapest machine. After all, providing quality care means demonstrating to your patients that they are in the right hands. Figure out which features and specifications you require and, based on them, choose a unit that best fits your budget.
Make sure the ultrasound machine is under warranty
Just as there are risks with purchasing a used car, there are also risks with purchasing a used machine. Parts breaking down or needing to be repaired, and more—all of this can be extremely pricey. So, once you starting shopping around, make sure to go to a provider who will offer you a one- to three-year product warranty with on-site repairs and quick response times. You will have a lot of patients walk through your door and you want the best ultrasound machine that will hold up to proper conditions. Hence, you need some guarantee in writing that the used machine will serve you well for years to come.
Commit to high-quality and up-to-date medical equipment
What is it you look for in a machine? What is the provider’s policy on repairs? What is the process the used medical equipment goes through in order to determine if it is fully functional? How are the safety points reviewed? Do you need an extra transducer, or perhaps a built-in laptop with a high-quality system? You need to be able to answer all of these questions if you are to find a machine that will give you the best quality, functionality, and durability. It is in your best interest to purchase a machine that will be compatible with other newer units and provide accurate diagnostic imaging.
Establish the ultrasound machine’s overall purpose
Ask yourself what it is you are looking for in a machine and how often you will be using it. There are several types of ultrasound machines to choose from, and each serves a different purpose, from cardiac and abdominal imaging to neurological applications and more. Before purchasing a used ultrasound machine, decide what purpose you wish the machine to serve and review the different features involved.
Keep records on the ultrasound machine’s maintenance
Ultrasound machines are complex and bulky. For this reason, you need to keep consistent records of their maintenance. Start by finding a service with qualified engineers who will be able to provide proper repairs and part replacements. They can tune your ultrasound machine to operate efficiently. If you keep records on the machine’s maintenance, you will be able to get to the bottom of any problems more quickly and avoid possible breakdown of the machine.
Gather references and seek out reputable providers
As with other things in life, we tend to ask our family, friends, and colleagues for references, for a quality healthcare center, a stylish beauty salon, a lavish restaurant, etc. So, when it comes to purchasing a used ultrasound machine, it should be no different. Gather references and start checking out websites and forums on customer experiences, testimonials, and online resources. Basically, become educated about who you will be purchasing equipment from and determine if they have a credible reputation. How long have they been selling used medical equipment? Does the equipment come with a warranty? Most importantly, can the provider and established service provide you with a machine of high-quality, reliability, and appearance?
Consider a provider who accepts trade-ins and offers training
At some point, you may want to upgrade an existing ultrasound machine in your practice. Look for a provider who accepts trade-ins. They will acquire your old machine and may even offer you a discount towards a new purchase. Additionally, you may need assistance and recommendations on how to operate the medical equipment, and in such instances, training can come in handy. Not all providers take the time to do this, so look around and find someone who will assure you of the machine’s performance well after the sale has been done.
Seek out high-quality customer service
When you are about to spend a large sum of money on a product or service, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth, especially when it comes to purchasing medical equipment. Receiving immediate high-quality customer service is essential. Seek out a provider who will give you any information you require about them, their service, and the medical equipment they sell. Most importantly, seek out a provider whom you can contact should you have any questions about the equipment further down the road.
Avoid any used ultrasound machines being sold “as is”
Ultrasound machines are crucial to any medical practice. They ensure you provide the best care, offer timely and accurate diagnoses, and recommend the best possible courses of treatment. In order to avoid purchasing a machine with an increased risk of breaking down and costing you tons of money to repair, avoid any medical equipment being sold “as is.” If you are keen on purchasing the machine, at the very least, thoroughly examine it and ensure it has been fully restored. Bring along an expert to view the machine in action and resolve any shortcomings.
Determine who will be operating the ultrasound machine
Will you be operating the machine, or perhaps one of your staff members? It is important to take into consideration a healthcare professional’s skills when getting involved with such a complex machine. Ask your provider if they would be willing to offer you online or face-to-face training. This way, you will be able to gather a basic review of the machine’s features and answer any questions or concerns you may have beforehand. The more satisfied you are, the most satisfied your patients will be.
In addition, there are other factors you may want to bear in mind before making your purchase:
- You may be planning to use the ultrasound machine in a more confined space, such as a medical practice, or in a large health-care setting, such as a hospital. No matter the environment, you need to determine the size and type of the machine depending on the available space.
- Check out different manufacturers and models to meet your requirements. You may want to purchase a portable and handheld ultrasound machine, or perhaps a stationary ultrasound machine—think it over before making any rash decisions.
- If you do not know where to start looking for a used ultrasound machine, seek out advice from a colleague. They are more likely to understand the needs and requirements of purchasing a quality machine and where to do so.
- Look for the technical specifications you require. Such specifications may include the size and heaviness of the machine, the level of power output, battery life, and more. Also, find out which type of machine would work best in your line of work.
- Gather data on what type of procedures you will be offering patients or what type of procedures are most popular. Estimate the revenues that will be brought into your practice against your initial investment on a used ultrasound machine. This is also a good way to determine what price range works best for you and to set your maximum budget.
- Look for important details regarding the safety of the medical equipment. Examine it thoroughly in order to make sure it is working properly, check the condition of the cords and look for any dents or punctures.
- Before turning on any medical equipment, examine the surrounding area for any potential hazards, such as moisture. For example, consider the risks involved if a patient were to light a cigarette during their oxygen therapy. Safety is key.
Ultrasound machines are the foundation of hospital facilities and medical practices. They can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of new medical equipment, saving 40%–60%, but it can be risky at times. So, before you start looking around for a great deal, you need to establish why you need to purchase a used ultrasound machine and go from there. Decide exactly what you want, how much you are willing to spend, and what exact purpose you want the ultrasound machine to fulfill. Moreover, it is important that you find a provider who deals with used ultrasound machine sales. It is imperative to take safety precautions when setting up or testing any equipment. For this reason, you want to find someone who tests and repairs parts to make sure the ultrasound machine, as a whole, is functioning properly. The only approach to determining the value of a used ultrasound machine is knowing when it was manufactured and how long it has been used. This is the best way to verify whether it will also be compatible with other newer rudiments and be able to work to its full capacity.
While there are several decisions you have to make, including brand recognition, new or used, and preferred features, you must make sure the ultrasound machine has all of its basic components. These include display, keyboard and cursor, transducer probe, transducer pulse controls, CPU, disk storage device, and printer. Apart from these, there are also several others without which an ultrasound machine cannot operate. Upon checking these components and features, you must also check whether the machine is working properly. Remember, unless you are 100% certain you will be fully satisfied with the machine and that it will provide the best service for your patients, you should not purchase it.
As you can see, there are more than a few cost-effective solutions to own an ultrasound machine, without going into debt. In fact, several popular brands of ultrasound machines, such as Phillips, Siemens, and GP, are previously owned and yet have been restored to meet original equipment standards. It is simply a matter of finding a machine with a system that will be able to meet your expectations. So, if and when you decide to purchase a used ultrasound machine, be sure to review the above factors so you can meet both your needs and your budget.