If you could be a fly on the wall of your examination rooms and staff areas, odds are you would hear a stream of complaints about malfunctioning or outdated equipment, often unbeknownst to management. Whether it is an internet connection or server that your business has outgrown, a computer with memory bursting at the seams, EMR software that is not compatible with other software that is used in the office, or a clunky piece of ancient technology that is difficult for both the tech to operate and the patient to undergo, the cost of replacing a piece of equipment that is functioning, if barely, is often considered to be too high.
Oftentimes, we wait until the equipment becomes inoperable, when we have no choice to replace it. There are several reasons why this type of thinking can hurt your practice in the long-run:
- Older, slower equipment hurts productivity, causing inefficiency and costing your practice money
- Getting an older piece of equipment repaired routinely can end up costing more than a new piece of equipment which would not require as much maintenance
- Waiting until a piece of equipment breaks to replace it costs time and money because you have nothing to use while awaiting a new one
- Often, newer equipment is more user-friendly than that designed previously, meaning there will be a smaller learning curve for tech training
- Newer-looking machines raise your status among patients – patients should perceive your practice on the cutting edge of technological advancement, offering the best care to them
Those are just a few points to consider when thinking about replacement versus repair. You want to consider, too, how much time is being wasted struggling with the old piece of equipment? From there, how long would it take before the new piece of equipment would pay for itself, between greater productivity and even greater reimbursement potential? Each practice is different, but we can all agree that technology is the key to keeping our practices competitive.