Outfitting Your Office, Part II – Where to find stuff

With my list in hand, one of the first things we did was we visited surplus medical supply houses in and around the Seattle area.  Believe me there are lots to choose from. It is my goal to start with equipment for two exam rooms.  So one of the first items I’d looked at this exam tables.  While at these surplus medical supply houses I also looked at instrument tray tables, lights, and stools.

I also visited our state surplus store and found things such as filing cabinets, cheers for the exam rooms and waiting rooms, tables and desks. You never know what you’re going to find in a surplus store and that includes the condition of what you do find.  Make sure you check it out as best you can.  Expect to find some dents and/or scratches. One of the items I found were several waiting room chairs in excellent condition from the WA State Department of Revenue and an old library card catalog with a locking door that was perfect to store samples. In addition we found the perfect cabinet for our all-in-one that had space for printers supplies.

Click here for your favorite eBay itemsLike many people all over the world, I have spent time at eBay both as a seller and  buyer.  So after being shocked at some of the prices in the medical supply catalogs I decided to check out eBay.  And guess what?  I found lots of items on eBay that I purchased for a fraction of the cost that you can get them at the medical supply houses.  For example I bought new Welch Allyn blood pressure cuffs in various sizes, thermometers, Otoscopes/Ophthalmoscope and even a digital scale.  In addition I purchased two laptops that now sit in our exam rooms. You can find dozens of items on eBay, so if spending money wisely is important to you, you’ll really want to check it out. As always make sure you check the seller’s rating before you make a purchase.  Ask all your questions up front, and always make sure you understand what you are buying.  And don’t forget if the item has an expiration date be sure to ask about that.

Now…not everything purchased was used. I did purchase my exam tables brand-new and here’s why.  I actually found to very nice use tables, and nearly bought them.  But the weight limitations were 350 pounds, and I knew that there are plenty of people in my community near that size or more.  So I opted to purchase two new tables (Ritter 204 Manual Exam Table) which I felt would be safer and also had a weight limit of 500 pounds.  The scale that I initially bought I ended up having to replace for this reason as well.  So my tables (from Ritter Midmark) and my scale (from eBay) are both new with the limitation of 500 pounds.  Something to keep in mind.

So what about those medical supply houses?  The one I use most frequently is www.eSurg.com . I like the fact that I can go on their website and search for my prices without any problems.  With one exception, their prices have beat all others when it comes to these supply houses, and they were willing to do a price match for me as well.  Other places that if used have been Henry Schein and Moore Medical. While I have no problem with their products or services, I do have an issue with how they conduct business. You never get the price that posted in their catalog. However, in order to find out what “discount” you get, you first have to contact your sales rep and wait for them to change the prices in your account. Frnakly, I find that to be a waste of time – especially since eSurg has beat the prices each time. Thus far, my complaints to both companies, have not changed this practice. 

By the way if you do decide you are interested in eSurg,  (here comes the shameless plug) they are giving away gas cards for referrals (now isn’t that something we can all use!). I’d be happy to send your practice information in…just let me know.

Comments 1

  1. I am doing business with e surg, so make sure they give you a referral gift. I did not know they were considered a “supply house”, that is great. My biggest issue is outfitting the office with furniture that matches in cherry, and shelving, as I have no cupboards, and I did find a great “buffet piece” that has tremendous storage. Got it off Craigs list. Craigs list is another great place to get supplies, that may not be strictly medical, but function as so. Allheart.com also has some medical supplies, as well as http://www.docsavings.com . Just a few tips I am learning. I ordered some things from Office depot online, and have had to return a few. Also, things come in pieces and have to be put together. Stericycle (number is 847 943 6564) is a great place to get your biohazard needs taken care of. I heard this from another np. Carla (Healing Presence)

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