When you purchase new instruments for your practice to better diagnose and treat your patients, you may be wondering how to best protect your investment.
To help you make the best decision for you and your office, the first step in this process is understanding your protection-based options and what each one means.
If the instruments are new, they’ll likely come with some type of warranty that ensures that the product will work as intended for a specific length of time. Some manufacturers also allow you buy an extended warranty, covering specific parts of the instrument, for an additional number of days, weeks, months, or sometimes years.
Solutions for Documents, a company which provides various office-related products and repairs, suggests that you consider these types of warranty issues before deciding which brand of instruments to buy:
- What is and is not covered by the warranty;
- The period of coverage or timeframe of the warranty;
- What criteria must exist in order to have the instrument serviced or replaced under the warranty;
- What the warranty says in writing to ensure that it matches what the manufacturer or seller has stated verbally; and
- Whether the warrant is provided by the manufacturer or third party as this often dictates warranty coverage.
These are also considerations that will help you decide whether to purchase an extended warranty. By knowing exactly what your basic warranty handles, you’ll be in a better position to determine whether you’d like to have more coverage.
Keep in mind also that some warranty provisions may differ if you lease instruments versus buying them outright. Therefore, if you choose to take this route, know what your warranty says so you know when you can use it and when you can’t.
Another way to protect your instrument-related investment is via insurance. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the type of business insurance that offers provisions of coverage regarding your instruments and equipment is commercial property insurance. This particular insurance “covers everything related to the loss and damage of company proper due to a wide-variety of events such as fire, smoke, wind and hail storms, civil disobedience and vandalism.”
In other words, whereas warranties cover how the instruments work (mainly their inside parts), commercial property insurance protects you in the event that the issue isn’t one of malfunction, but natural disasters or crime. The SBA goes on to say that property insurance can come in the form of an all-risk policy that covers a number of different situations or a peril-specific policy that only provides assistance under very specific circumstances.
To help you decide whether this type of coverage is right for you, contact your insurance agent and ask about available insurances and their costs. Once you have this type of information, you’ll be able to make the best decision to protect both your instruments and your practice within your budget.
Train your staff properly
Some instrument malfunctions and issues occur as a result of improper use. For this reason, it’s important that your staff know how to properly use the instruments you choose to purchase, hopefully lengthening how long they last.
When purchasing your instruments, ask whether training is provided as a part of purchase or at an additional cost. Depending on the provider, you may have a variety of training options from which to choose.
For instance, SIGMA offers a number of different training programs, ranging from “Introduction to SIGMA Computer Instrument Adjusting: Fundamentals for Safe and Accurate Integration Into Your Practice” to the more advanced training “SIGMA Instrument Methods Masters Level Certification: Upper and Lower Extremity and Special Applications.”
As you can see, you have many options when it comes to protecting your instrument investment. Now all you have to do is decide the best option for you.