Purchasing an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) machine for your medical office is a vitally important investment that must be thoroughly analyzed beforehand. There is no need to worry or be overwhelmed, because we have you covered with a checklist of 7 options to consider before purchasing an EKG machine.
1) Do I want brand new or refurbished?
- Brand new EKG machines and refurbished EKG machines both come with their costs and benefits. When purchasing an EKG machine brand new, you are going to obviously pay a higher price for the item. However, this price is often covered with a manufacturer’s warranty, installation, and onsite training. As authorized distributors for all major manufacturers, Jaken Medical has access to an abundance of brand new EKG machines with competitive pricing and quality support.
- Refurbished units may not come with all of the extra perks from the manufacturer, however they run at a significantly lower price. Once they are properly tested through a Jaken Medical refurbishment process, you can trust that these units will be ready to perform at an optimal level. Here at Jaken Medical, we offer refurbished EKG machines with a one-year parts and labor warranty as well as brand new accessories.
2) Do I want an interpretive or non-interpretive EKG?
By now, every cardiologist understands the difference between interpretive and non-interpretive EKG machines. It was all the way back in the 1950s when it became possible to convert the analog electrocardiogram signal into digital form. Fast-forward almost seventy years later and the technology has advanced dramatically.
While there are both benefits and limitations of (CIE) computer-interpreted EKG readings, it is thought by cardiologist to be an insurance net for what they don’t catch with their human eyes.
In an article written by the JACC (Journal of the American College of Cardiology) in 2017, these are the current concerns with current CIE:
- Frequently incorrect readings for arrhythmias, conduction disorders, and pacemaker rhythms
- Wide variations in false-positive and false-negative results in the identification of STEMI
- Systematic over-reading of CIE is a mandatory requiring continuous education and active ECG training
While that may seem like a lot of negative aspects, the JACC also stated the following positive features of electrocardiograms:
“Provided that the ECG quality is good, computerized interpretation gives a correct measurement of the basic parameters. Computer-assisted ECG interpretation decreased analysis time by up to 24% to 28% for experienced readers. Also, computerized archives allow rapid access to serial ECG comparisons. Besides indicating differences between ECGs, it improves interpretation accuracy, for example, in acute coronary syndromes.”
As you can see, there are still flaws in CIE readings. They are, however, a great tool for the cardiologist to make for quicker interpretation and get a “second opinion”. Although they shouldn’t be trusted with 100% confidence quite yet, interpretive EKG machines have much to offer a cardiology practice.
3) Do I want a standard keyboard or touchscreen interface?
Practitioners must ask themselves whether they would rather use a standard keyboard or a touchscreen interface. There are certain applications in which you may be wearing gloves, which would be better accommodated by a standard keyboard.
As most brand new EKG machines comes with a touchscreen, more and more doctors are beginning to make the switch. If you tend to be simple in your approach, then purchasing a standard keyboard EKG machine may be the right fit for you.
The future is digital, so our prediction is that touchscreen interfaces will become more and more popular.
4) Do I want a traditional box style or PC-based?
EKG machines are becoming more mobile friendly every year, while PC-based units are also a powerful innovation for the market. With PC-based systems, you can connect a small box unit via a USB to then transform a standard PC computer or tablet into an actual resting EKG machine.
Although one might predict that people lean toward PC-based systems, we have found from our experience that many doctors are purchasing traditional box style EKG machines more often. This is a decision that you must make based on what will best suite your practice.
5) Do I want a full-page printout or half page?
One of the most common questions we come across when helping someone find the right EKG machine is whether they want full-age or half-page printout.
More often than not, we hear frustration from the medical professionals who choose half-page. With the long, skinny design, half-page EKG printouts tend to be more difficult to scan. Full-page printouts are the same size as a typical 11” x 8.5”.
If you have no issues scanning half-page printouts, then by all means choose an EKG that take the half-page roll printouts. Once again, these decisions come down to personal preference and whatever you think will help make your practice more efficient.
6) Do I want EMR connectivity?
An electronic medical record (EMR) system is critically essential now days for offices and hospitals to ensure accurate patient information at the touch of a button. If you are in the healthcare industry, you know how simple EMR makes it to access patient data.
According to Welch Allyn, connecting a device to an EMR system allows you to “improve your workflow by quickly, accurately and electronically capturing, saving and storing patient diagnostic information, reducing transcription errors and giving you back valuable time to spend on what matters most – your patients”.
As a distributor, one of the most common question we get asked about EKG machines is whether or not the unit has EMR connectivity. This is an important tool for your practice, as it will keep your productivity high and reporting time low. We definitely recommend this option for your EKG machine.
7) Do I want exporting features such as PDF, DICOM, Jpeg?
Having the option to export your EKG readings via PDF, DICOM, or Jpeg is a great option for the practitioner to be able to share the patient’s results via computer file. This doesn’t necessarily replace printed results, but it is a valuable option to have included with your EKG machine.
We hope to have laid out all of the top options in a clear enough way that you may now make the right decision for your practice. We would like to hear your opinion about each of these EKG options, so please leave a comment below!
What are your thoughts on brand new vs. refurbished EKG machines?
What’s your stance on interpretive vs. non-interpretive EKG machines?
Do you prefer the standard keyboard or touchscreen interface?
Does traditional box style or PC-based work better for you?
Is a full-page printout perfect? Or does half page suffice?
Is EMR connectivity a must-have for your EKG machine?
Which exporting features do you favor?