How to Buy an EKG Machine

Physicians, have you ever wondered how you can make the best buy on equipment for your office? How do you purchase an EKG machines (or relate that to any equipment purchases)? Must you deal with local reps or will the internet work for satisfying your needs?


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    Evaluating the existing EKG machine in the office: it's on its last legs, but you decided to wait until it was broken beyond repair.
    • Paying too much: Your machine breaks and the local rep who has been providing you with gauze pads, cotton balls and all your other office supplies brings an EKG machine that he represents into the office for you to consider.
    • Finding that your nurses' love it, and you need the machine: the local rep gives you a price.
    • Your rep for some large distributors accepts incentives to promote certain machines, in this case EKG's, but the machine may not be the one for your practice.
    • Haggling little, if at all, and, voila, there is a brand new machine in your office.
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    Find the product you need, by shopping around:
    • Allow yourself time to shop the internet for an EKG machine; do not trust your local rep just because of having dealt with him or her for years.
    • Well, rather than going to the internet to find the best price on that product -- the rep's job is to get you into a dependent relationship.
    • Avoid being used as in the industry lingo: "Own the relationship and you will own the business".
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    Realize you will receive service when you purchase over the internet, as most EKG manufacturers have authorized service representatives in each area of the country.
    • They will train office staff on proper use of the machine, no matter which distributor the EKG machine was purchased from.
    • Further, the manufacturer and often the distributor will handle all warranty and service issues.
    • The result? When buying an EKG machine, you get the same or comparable service from an internet company as you do from a company you find in the classified section or one of your Journals, product magazines that come to your office, or promotional direct-mail cards that have a variety of medical equipment in them.
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    Expect your local rep to have a role in selling you supplies, although you should periodically check the prices they are offering.
    • If your rep's service and pricing is not up to par, there are usually 2 or 3 reps in the same area from other companies who are ready, willing and able to help you.
    • But when it comes to buying an EKG machine, the lesson here is that you should explore other purchasing options.Maybe you can trade in your old machine for store credit?

Key Features to Consider

  1. What paper width and length does the machine print?
    • Some EKG Machines print out on 60 mm strips or half-sized sheets of EKG paper.
    • Even smaller paper, some machines will print a full 3x4+1 format. This may save money on EKG paper in the long run.
    • Some EKG machines print out on 8.5x11 sheets of paper. These are preferable because it is easier to handle and store these printouts, though paper costs will be higher.
  2. Does the machine have a keyboard that gives you the ability to type in patient demographics?
    • In some cases when patient demographics are printed on the EKG printout, it seems to be a more professional EKG presentation.
    • Although that printed patients-name may look professional -- it requires personalizing for each patient -- a machine without this feature takes less time for a nurse or an EKG technician to perform.
  3. Does the machine have a screen:
    • If so, you can see the EKG prior to printing verify all leads are working.
    • This is a nice feature because you can actually make sure that the baseline is stable prior to recording the EKG.
    • Make sure all 12 leads are visible on screen at once to avoid the hassle of switching between screens and view them all in real-time.
  4. Does the machine give you the ability to connect to a computer?
    • And if so, is the output based on open architecture which is compatible with most available EMR and EKG Management systems?
    • Be aware that EKG manufacturers make machines that will only integrate with the expensive EKG management systems which only they provide.
  5. There are PC based EKG machines that provide you with all of the above that have the ability:
    • to print on regular copy paper,
    • to connect to electronic medical records and
    • to integrate other diagnostic features, such as spirometry, Holter monitoring, stress testing and vital signs monitoring.
  6. As long as your staff is comfortable with using a PC, the PC based EKG machines provide the best value because of system features.
    • You can view all 12 leads in real time not after the fact;
    • These machines create a searchable database of all EKGs performed, limited only by the size of your hard drive;
    • You can print on plain copy paper
    • And you can conveniently email, or fax EKG's right from your PC.

Citations and Sources

Some information was from this cite: Medical Device Depot, Discount Cardiology

Article Info

Categories: Medication and Medical Equipment | Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure