Purchasing an ultrasound machine can feel overwhelming, especially if it is your first time doing so. The following guide should help you figure out what you need to look for as you set out to find the right machine.
Perhaps one of the most important things to keep in mind when purchasing your new ultrasound machine is your budget. Try to figure out how much you can spend on this new machine, and don’t budge when you start your search.
Ideally, you can prevent yourself from buying this machine as long as possible by keeping up with maintenance. Still, the time will come when you are going to deal with this expense. Do not go for the cheapest option because that is not always best; try to stretch that budget as much as you can.
You know how you are going to use this machine, but figuring out what features are needed to meet those needs can be a little more complicated. The first thing you have to figure out is the machine’s intended application, and the following are some applications:
The ultrasound machine is most famously used to determine the presence of a baby, figure out the due date, and see if there are any issues with the pregnancy. It’s a very important application. If you are going to be using the machine in this manner, one thing you have to keep in mind is portability. Depending on your patient, the machine is going to have to be moved around quite a bit, and you have to be prepared for that.
Machines that are going to be used for diagnostics need to have specific features, such as a low-frequency setting. The reason you need this is because low-frequency setting allows for deeper penetration into the tissues of the human body.
This is how you will be able to examine blood vessels, the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries, eyes, and many other organs. It’s important that when you start your search that you do so by searching through a provider that has a number of machines, like National Ultrasound, so that you get a good overview of all the machines available and their features.
If the ultrasound machine is going to be used during medical procedures, then that means the power output becomes a much bigger deal. As you know, high power outputs can cause damage to tissues or the epidermis if the patient is exposed to this type of scanning too long. Most procedures take a long time, so it is important that you make sure the machine you choose has a low power outage setting.
Let your needs help guide your choice as much as possible. If you aren’t sure, then ask a provider to help you pinpoint some of your best choices, but make sure you have your needs clearly outlined to give this provider the best chances of finding what you need.
The next thing you have to think about is your team. Your employees will have to know how to use a new machine. It’s important to find out how simple or complicated the new ultrasound machine is going to be for employees.
Those who are purchasing a more advanced ultrasound machine will have to give their technicians some time to not only review the manual but to work with the machine. If your technicians are not familiar with newer, more advanced machines, then it may be helpful to have them take additional training or a few seminars to help get your team up to speed. This may seem like you’re doing a lot, but remember that well-trained technicians help maintain the machine and help keep patients safe as well.
You are going to have to pay close attention to the service contracts before you make your purchase. Even after budgeting and figuring out the kind of machine you need, you are probably going to be looking at a pretty big pool of choices, but you may be able to narrow down your choices by reading through service contracts.
Every machine is going to come with some kind of warranty straight from the manufacturer. The first thing to pay attention to is how long each warranty is going to last. After that, you want to read through the renewal process and what could make it harder for you to renew. Make sure you pay extra attention to the terms and conditions because manufacturers can put conditions or terms that could make it hard for you to qualify for help.
Another thing you want to pay attention to is how much parts or labor is going to cost you. Be sure to also pay attention to service response time estimates or guarantees. The last thing a medical establishment wants to deal with is delays in service because that means patients are going to experience unnecessary delays.
About the Parts
One last thing to keep in mind is the parts that were just mentioned earlier. Yes, the manufacturer is going to be able to provide parts for the machine, but what you have to find out is the availability of parts for your machine. Someday you may want to buy a part from another source, and you need to make sure the parts on your machine are easily found.
Before you commit to a particular machine, do an online search, and make sure your parts are not only easily found but that they are relatively cheap. While your warranty lasts, you may be able to get parts at a discounted price or for free from the manufacturer. After the warranty expires, you are going to have to purchase these parts on your own. Be sure to take this into account while you figure out which machine to purchase because you don’t want to get stuck with a machine that isn’t working properly because you can’t find a part.
These are just some points you should consider as you buy your machine, but be sure to ask a provider for additional suggestions. You can probably see that purchasing this machine is going to take some time, but you’ll end up with the right machine, so this work is worth the trouble.