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The Essential Diagnostic Tools Every Medical Office Should Have

Whether you’re opening a new medical office or reordering medical tools for an existing one, it’s important to choose the right instruments. Exactly what you’ll need depends on your healthcare specialty. However, there are certain tools almost every healthcare office should have, including scales, stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors and thermometers.

Scales

Accuracy and durability are important when selecting a medical scale. Medical scales also need to fulfill certain basic requirements:

  • Look for measurement readouts that are big enough for staff to see without invading patient space or squinting.
  • Modern scales should offer digital readings to improve staff efficiency and accuracy.
  • Scales should be easy for patients of all mobility levels to manage. Consider options with a high weight capacity to accommodate all patients.
  • Think about your space when choosing a scale. Smaller, more compact models that take up less room are available.

Stethoscopes

For many practitioners, stethoscope preferences are personal. But whether you're purchasing your own scope or buying for the entire office, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Understand the patient base. There's a difference between pediatric and adult stethoscopes, but you can use a general scope if you only see children occasionally.
  • If you want to hang your scope around your neck comfortably, opt for one with a 27-inch tube.
  • You can save money by purchasing a scope without a bell feature on the chest piece, but you'll lose access to lower tones.
  • Avoid unnecessary extras like digital recording — unless the functionality will increase the quality of patient care in your office.
  • Look for a scope with a lifetime warranty.

Blood Pressure Monitors

You have a number of options when it comes to blood pressure monitors, so consider the following to ensure you choose the right type for your office:

  • Understand how the staff will use the monitors so you can decide between wall-mounted electronic units and handheld manual units.
  • Consider purchasing at least one handheld manual unit so you have a backup option in case of power outages or emergencies.
  • Buy monitors with large, clear displays to reduce the chance of reading errors.
  • Consider purchasing monitors with different types of cuffs so you always have the right fit for each patient.

Thermometers

Every exam room should be stocked with accurate thermometers. Many offices prefer digital thermometers for efficiency, but it doesn't hurt to have the old-fashioned kind on hand for accuracy or emergencies. There are also other considerations to keep in mind:

  • You might want to buy several types of thermometers to provide practitioners the option of taking temperatures orally or in the ear.
  • You will want to purchase thermometers that provide readings to the first or second decimal point, for accuracy.
  • You should ensure reliable access to sanitary sheaths for your thermometers.
  • You will need to select thermometer sizes that will be comfortable for your patients, especially if you see children.

Research Before Making a Purchase

Choosing the right medical diagnostic tools for your office is essential for quality patient care. Take the time to research common tools and make the best purchases for your office.

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