As the industry for compact ultrasound systems continues to grow, physicians who want to purchase their first ultrasound or trade out a bulky cart-based unit for a laptop sized one, have plenty of options. Although buying new has its rewards, such as a 5 year warranty from SonoSite, this is a recession after all, and many people, physicians included, are on a budget. According to imaging trend watcher Harvey Klein, PhD, with Klein Biomedical Consultants, "The compact ultrasound market continues to be the largest segment of the overall ultrasound market in the U.S." Just like buying a used car, there are risks, but here are 4 tips to buying refurbished or used ultrasound equipment to help you mitigate potential issues during your buying process:
1. Commitment to Quality
What is their process for repair and warranty work? What is their process for refurbishing the ultrasound equipment? Whether it's just an additional transducer you need or a fully loaded laptop ultrasound system, do they just paint the nicks and send it out the door or is there a comprehensive checklist including safety points that are reviewed?
2. Scope of Resources
How many people work at the company, is it a broker working from his house? Or will you receive post sale support in the form of onsite training, continued lifetime online training for new staff? Do they repair the equipment in-house or source it to another company?
This is a tricky area and one where you need to make SURE you are comparing apples to apples, not an apple to a grape. If it seems too good to be true, guess what? It is! Make sure you have a quote that details which features are enabled on the system you are going to purchase and that if you have requested a linear transducer for vascular access you are looking at two identical descriptions - there are multiple linear probes from SonoSite for example and they are different.
This is either an area you can start with, asking colleagues for references, or end with.... check the website, are there testimonials from past customers? Can you talk with a customer about their experience? Online resources such as Dotmed.com post feedback about resellers, be educated about who you are working with.
Get the facts today about buying used or refurbished ultrasound machines - download our Guide today!