Today’s changing O&P Industry: A Survival Guide – Part 3: Investment and Timing
In this third and final chapter of this series, Nigel answers questions to give you advice should you invest and when is the right time.
Learn directly from a professional just like you who has made the shift in part three of this three-part series. Nigel Freeman, CPO and Director at Momentum Health Technologies, shares his insights on questions you need to ask before going digital.
1. Can I afford it?
This needs to be a calculated decision for anyone. Look at this not just as the cost of the technology but rather as the cost of operating your service.
For someone starting up their new facility, an investment in CAD would be less than the cost of equipment and space that you would require to preform the fabrication yourself.
Do the maths on your billables, technology is only a small portion of the billable potential even at 12-15 hours a week and it is going to dramatically make your job easier and improve your patient care. You are investing in your whole operations, why not make is as easy and efficient on yourself as possible?
2. Will I see a return on my investment?
With the technology, our clinical facility can save at least 10 hours a week. Even if you only save 5 hrs a week, and you can spend that time on writing report or seeing another patient, over a 40-week year that is $35,000, and over a 48 week year, that is $42,000 at NDIS rates. The risk is a lot lower with just scanner/software and it pays for itself. I think it is a no-brainier.
3. Can I get it for less?
Yes, you can get it for less. You can buy an iPad scanner, but you won’t get a very accurate scan. It is a question of what you use it for and whether having the risk of 3-8mm margin of error is acceptable for your devices or not.
Also, when we were evaluating CAD providers, we did find ones where we could spend less but we knew we would not get the same level of support. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. A good system seems like a lot of money, which it is, but if you are going to make the investment, you should make sure it works. If you don’t make it work and it ends up sitting on the shelf, you just wasted your investment and your time.
4. Should I wait for 3D printing?
You could wait. That could also mean that other clinics who are already using technology will move ahead and 3D printing will accelerate further. When you realize you are losing business, you might take notice, but by then it will probably be too late. Really, there is minimal risk to start now, because step 1 of digital shape capture and step 2 of design are the required stepping stones you need to take whether the industry evolves to printing or carving tomorrow.
5. Is there a risk of being an early adopter?
I don’t feel like at any point we are early adopters. The technology has been around for a long time, if anything we are late to the game in AU. It is an inevitable function of change that will need to be accepted by the current and future professionals in our industry.
Are you interested in learning more about making the switch? Feel free to contact Alice Zhao at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nigel Freeman at email@example.com to find out more.