By Wm. Philip Werschler, MD; Kari Larson, MBA and
Catherine Maley, MBA
Author, “Your Aesthetic Practice”
Ms. Maley is President and Senior Marketing Strategist, Cosmetic Image Marketing, San Francisco , California . Dr. Werschler is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine/Dermatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle. Ms. Larson is a Cosmetic Practice Development Specialist, Premier Practice Institute, San Diego , California .
The authors report no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article.
With hundreds of laser models currently on the market, considering how to acquire this technology without breaking the bank is important. This column analyzes some important issues to consider before acquiring new laser equipment. Because laser technologies are produced and updated so frequently, making the wrong decision can result in poorly trained staff, outdated equipment, or equipment that requires costly upgrades and service. Many practitioners find themselves with laser equipment that sits in a storage room collecting dust because they do not know how to use the technology or market it to their patients.
Opting to rent laser equipment can eliminate the aforementioned problems. Space is a precious commodity, and renting lasers can help turn those expensive doorstops into profit centers that enable your practice to stay on the cutting edge of today’s medical advances. Additionally, when renting lasers the twin burdens of maintenance and obsolesence are off-loaded from the practice. All preventative maintenance and repairs become the responsibility of the rental agency, and upgrades or replacement with newer technology is done on a regular basis.
Renting a laser provides low barrier entry into the laser market; you are essentially outsourcing laser services in your practice. The practitioner schedules the patients and the laser, collects the fees from the patients, and pays the rental company a contracted rate.
A rental company will supply a certified technician to operate the rental laser, as well as a modern laser system with a complete line of accessories. In addition, rental companies provide in-service educational and certification programs for office staff. Because a certified technician is on site to oversee the proper use of the laser, the physician’s liability is reduced by making sure all safety measures meet American National Standards Institute requirements. This also decreases staff salary overhead, as the rental company pays the technician directly.
Renting provides access to highly advanced laser equipment only when you need it without the capital expenditure, financial exposure, or risk of equipment obsolescence involved in purchasing. In addition, liability risks, maintenance issues, and concerns about either using the equipment too much or too little are eliminated.