Acquiring a new piece of ophthalmic imaging equipment, whether new or used, is a risk reward event. New technology may have bugs in it and used equipment may have been over-used or abused.
The desired reward is to provide enhanced value to patients and / or an improvement in the practice’s daily operation.
The risk is if it will perform as expected and if not, will the vendor perform as promised?
To minimize this risk, consider these questions to establish a better relationship with your vendor.
 Has the equipment/technology been tested and what performance data is available?
 Can you speak with others who are using it now?
 What will the learning curve entail?
 What kind of training and support are available?
 How will this new equipment improve the daily operation of the practice?
- Is the imaging capture process improved?
- Is the quality of the image improved?
- Can images be enhanced after capture?
- How secure is the data?
 Is there any durability data available?
 What kind of service and maintenance does the equipment require?
- Is a service contract required?
 How does this equipment improve patient care?
 Explain the warranty, but specifically, what will the vendor do if it breaks down, preventing our treating patients?
 How quickly can it be delivered and set up?
 Beyond the purchase price, what other fees and costs are incurred?
 Why buy used?
 Is there a “start-up” guarantee?
 What are the dimensions? Will it fit?
 Are service records or inspection reports available?
 Is this equipment compatible with any and all other equipment and/or software?
 Can we test use it before final agreement and payment?
 Are there any guarantees of delivery, set-up, start-up and or initial operation?
 How quickly can service be delivered??
 What kind of support and maintenance is required and available?
 Is there an escalation procedure above and beyond normal service and support?
When ophthalmic imaging equipment works as expected, the risk has been dispelled. But when it does not, it is the relationship with the provider that will help or hurt your practice. And the best time to discuss and define these terms and conditions is before the purchase is completed.
And even then, there is no guarantee that they will perform as expected either. And perhaps the key question to minimize the risk of a new piece of equipment is question #22
 What does your vendor guarantee regarding their service?
- Is there any evidence about your provider and their warranties?
- Do they go beyond the minimum?
- Or have they failed to meet the minimum?
Pick your provider of ophthalmic imaging equipment with the same care and concern you picked the piece of equipment. There is more to this decision than there appears.
Dale Brodsky – Ophthalmic Imaging and Equipment Specialist.