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How to Keep Your Imaging System Marketable: Buy Quality. Invest in Support. Look for Upgrades.

Courtesy of Bryan Currier, President of Advantage Tech

When you are considering selling your practice, any purchaser is going to be looking at your core technologies – practice management, imaging, and I.T. For this segment, let’s focus on what you can do to make the imaging portion as attractive as possible. These are great guidelines, not only if you are thinking of selling your practice, but for anyone looking to invest in digital imaging.

1. Run with the group
When discussing practice management software in the last issue, I outlined the advantages of going with a mainstream product. The same advantages apply to imaging. There are some great choices available: Schick, Dexis, Carestream, Gendex, etc. These are all high-quality products, supported by excellent companies.  The initial cost may be a bit higher, but you need to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) of these products.

We have a motto at Advantage Technologies that we repeat to our customers over and over during the design of any I.T. (and consequently imaging) system: “Nothing is as expensive as downtime.” The savings that you can experience with a cheap sensor purchased online will very quickly be eliminated the first time there is a problem. At that point, you would gladly trade the money you saved for the phone number of a local representative who can help you get a sensor overnighted (or better) to your practice, with minimal hassle.

2. Stay with support
Question: Should you pay for imaging support (sensors, PSP, pan, etc)? Answer: Absolutely! These devices are critical to your practice, and protecting them is a sensible and sound investment in your practice.  Another consideration regarding support: it is not just for the device itself. Support includes all the future updates to that imaging software. As new technologies emerge, operating systems are updated and bugs are fixed, as well as a multitude of other issues. It is imperative that you have these updates. As an example, a few years ago I had a customer who was using a digital system on the Apple Mac OS. Apple released an update, but the new update was incompatible with the fouryear-old version of his imaging software. Had he been on the most current version, this would never have been an issue.

3. Watch for upgrade opportunities
Imaging devices such as pans can last 20+ years.  Sensors and intraoral cameras can last 10+ years, but you would normally want to look at an upgrade prior to that. Newer designs, simpler interfaces, improved reliability and image quality, and patient comfort are just some reasons. Watch for “upgrade” pricing available through your local representative. This is an occasional event, but if you are looking for the opportunity, it can save you some time and money.

Bryan Currier is president of Advantage Tech, an I.T. company dedicated to serving dental practices. Bryan has 13 years in the industry, and has assisted nearly 1,000 practices with various I.T. needs throughout his career. He has spoken at various events, including the Carestream Users Group and Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, and has been published in various trade journals. He resides in Florida with his wife and four children. Bryan can be reached at 877.723.8832.




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