'Why I bought this digital radiography system ... '

'Why I bought this digital radiography system ... '

Think through that next big DR purchase with a veterinary practice owner and a practice manager who share what they wanted in their new DR system and brand-new dental DR sensor.
 
Oct 23, 2017
By dvm360.com staff

El Gato Grande appreciates that you can show him the radiograph on an iPad and that you can take more radiographs faster with digital, but he still needs you to tell him what it MEANS. (Shutterstock.com)David Cardwell, DVM, practice owner of Kerrville Veterinary Clinic in Kerrville, Texas, writes:

My biggest considerations were:

  • Quality of image

  • Ease of operation

  • Quality and ease of sending out images

  • Cost (initially and down the road).

I ended up comparing Heska's Cuattro system to one other company for the final decision. What finally got me to go with Cuattro was they convinced me that their “upgrades” in the future would be considerably less expensive than other options. I'm only 1.5 years into a 5-year warranty, so that remains to be seen. Hopefully, I waited long enough after the system's release to get the bugs out and avoid costly major upgrades and advances in the near future.

For financing, any company that offered zero percent financing had a leg up with me. I bought this system later in life (I'm 59), so I had enough personal money to lend the purchase price to the clinic and have the clinic pay me back at 6 percent interest. I was earning just a little over 1 percent where the money was sitting, and I had faith I'd get paid back!

The best thing about converting from film is quality of image and the ability to change the image using a computer if you didn’t get it quite right. Because of the speed, we take 25 percent more. Everyone said we would, but I was skeptical.

Instead of telling clients, “We probably don’t need to take an X-ray today,” because of the time involved, it's become, “The best thing would be to take an X-ray today.”

I feel like we're making more money today at our busy, five-doctor practice than before we bought the unit even after factoring in the monthly payment.

Kelly Capasso, practice manager at Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Kettering and Springboro, Ohio, writes:

Our new digital radiography is Midmark's dental sensor. This is our third company we've used for dental digital radiography.

I chose the new Midmark sensor mostly because of its durability. Dental sensors can be very fragile and live in the mouths of dogs.

I also trusted our sales rep and the customer and technical support promised.

Of course, image quality must be excellent, but technology has advanced to a point where most of the big names are closer than they've ever been.

Feel like you're making money?

Digital radiography would never pay for itself at our one doctor rural practice. It may someday when the costs come down and we can't get our film equipment serviced anymore. I also wouldn't lay out that kind of money without knowing exactly what kind of return I could expect. I surely would not "feel like" I made a good investment.