Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma City, a paperless practice that purchased its first computer and electronic medical record system in 1993, prides itself on its commitment to using the latest technology. “Adding computer radiography was a natural step in the evolution of our practice,” says co-owner Dr. Tina Neel.
Buying the right radiograph machine takes research. Dr. David S. Biller, Dipl. ACVR, a radiology professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., suggests you consider these factors when choosing a unit:
You'd probably like to own an ultrasound machine, but before spending your hard-earned money, take time to determine whether you really need and will use one. "Ultrasound is to soft tissues what radiographs are to the bone, and we certainly see more soft tissue injuries than we do bone injuries," says Dr. Tracy Turner, Professor of Large Animal Surgery at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn. "You can't live without an ultrasound machine if you do lots of reproduction and lameness work. And it's also useful for visualizing the heart, lungs, pleural cavity, intestines, and other internal organs."
You know the benefits of offering a complete in-house lab. You--and anxious pet owners--can get quick answers on complex cases, and you can begin treatment immediately rather than hospitalizing the patient until you receive test results the next morning. In addition, owning high-tech gadgets lets you practice high-quality medicine.
You've spent a year researching the benefits of laser surgery, and you think this new service will enhance your practice's surgical options. You've even selected the unit and considered financing options. But have you done all your homework? Before you buy expensive equipment, take time to calculate the financial benefits--and hidden costs.
When you dream about new equipment, also consider replacing existing units that no longer meet your needs. As you compose your wish list, ask these questions to determine whether an item is still efficient: