When it comes to purchasing therapy equipment for your clinic, you don’t want to break the bank—but at the same time, you want your setup to reflect the level of professionalism you demonstrate as a rehab therapist. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find middle ground in this cost versus quality tug-of-war. Here are some ideas to consider as you explore your buying options:
1. Shop online.
When it comes to comparison shopping, you won’t find a better tool than the World Wide Web. In addition to great deals on new devices, you can snag awesome discounts on used equipment (eBay, anyone?). And if you’re a WebPT Member, you have access to the WebPT Marketplace, where you can purchase clinical supplies and equipment for up to 25% off wholesale.
2. Get creative.
As you list out all of your equipment needs, look for ways to work around buying the big-ticket items that will gobble up your budget in one massive bite. As PT and clinic owner Jack Sparacio writes in this blog post, “Why spend $3,500 on a high-end Ultrasound-Electric Stimulation Combo Machine when you can buy separate portable ultrasound and electrical stimulation units for about $100 each?” If you really want to channel your inner MacGyver, consider this tip from Sparacio: “You can buy a $3,000 automatic high-low treatment table or an economical wooden table (with an adjustable backrest) and a step stool for under $500.” Or, you could just build one out of duct tape and paper clips.
3. Do more with less.
Speaking of duct tape and paper clips, you don’t need fancy gym products to achieve amazing patient outcomes. If you’re practical, resourceful, and, in Sparacio’s words, “creatively efficient,” you can find alternative ways to meet your therapy equipment needs. Plus, exercises that don’t involve big, expensive equipment are much more conducive to the home, and thus could boost patient compliance. As Sparacio explains, “…keep in mind that when designing an exercise program for a patient, they are not going to have access to that expensive exercise equipment at home. Giving them exercises in your office utilizing sport-cords and resistance bands are reproducible and practical.”
4. Consider renting or leasing.
Got your eye on a shiny new exercise machine but can’t bring yourself to cough up the dough to buy it outright? Consider renting or leasing it. According to this article, many therapy business owners have found that leasing is “the most viable and revenue-enhancing way to acquire new equipment. One of the biggest attractions is that leasing arrangements, which typically last from one to five years, are quite flexible and can be tailored to suit the immediate and long-term financial needs of the customer.” If you’re not quite ready to write a check for several thousand dollars, this might just be the option for you. Plus, if the object of your desire doesn’t live up to expectations, you can always return it at the end of your contract. And unlike loan agreements with banks, which often require lengthy credit approval processes and plenty of tiresome hoop-jumping, leasors are generally much more “willing to deal with recent graduates, as well as established professionals and large facilities.”
Do you have any tips on where to find great deals on therapy equipment? Share them with us in the comment section below.