Speaking at CVC in Kansas City was an incredible experience. Educating (and sometimes being educated) about veterinary radiology was priceless. Digital radiography still seems to be the buzz word, and I even had several attendees tell me they really enjoyed and benefited from my lecture on the subject. One attendee thought the lecture was so worthwhile that they asked me to get my main point out to the rest of the veterinary community.·So, for those who didn’t attend, here is the take-home message:
“It is a great time to be in the market to go digital, however, the focus should be less on the price and more on customer service."
The competitive hardware market has lead to competitive pricing, and those looking to buy a system can now get more for their money. But buying a system based on price alone, unless you are a computer-networking, DICOM, and equipment-repair whiz, is probably not a wise choice. There are other considerations that can be more important than price.
Historically, image quality was the decider between systems, which doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The gap in image quality between systems has closed significantly, with the real distinction now being customer service, which should weigh heavily into your purchase decision. In my opinion, the consequences of poor or unreliable customer service are not worth the initial cost savings. Having your digital system down for a week can mean lost revenue and/or lost clients.
Overall, if you are extremely tech savvy with computers, networks and equipment, there are definitely deals to be had on hardware; however, for the mere mortal I recommend a stronger focus on the company’s service record and less on cost.
In the future, I foresee integration of the image directly into the medical record, including charge capture, to become a factor in the purchase decision.