The Multi-Million Dollar Examination Stool

Feb 28, 2017 | Bell News

We all look for ways to streamline costs, but short-term savings can equal long-term expense.

Many times buying a cheaper product means settling for inferior quality or fewer amenities and sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes it’s not. Being frugal doesn’t just mean saving money, it means buying wisely.

A doctor fell off a stool resulting in the end of a surgical career and the beginning of a multi-million dollar lawsuit

Recently a doctor fell off a rolling stool while at work and cracked his head, resulting in the end of a surgical career and a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The lawsuit blamed a poorly designed stool and plastic casters.

Of course, this is an extreme example. Sometimes going cheap might just result in equipment downtime, the need for repeated tests, wasted time and a grumbling staff.
Some level of cost-benefit analysis when making purchases could provide peace of mind when plunking down the money for procurements. Is the item in question a consumable where quality might not matter much? Or is it an item that you don’t want to replace often? Will having a quality item be a better experience for both you and your patient? Do you want to glide across the floor on your stool like Fred Astaire or drag yourself along with an errant caster vibrating like a broke-down shopping cart?

The cost of an item becomes amortized over the useful life of the item, so decide where it makes sense to save money and where it might be better spent on quality. Penny-wise and pound foolish, as the old saying goes.